Sport: Billiards
Laser Pool Balls   (+1)  [vote for, against]
Smoke and Mirrors Laser “training” Pool Balls

I don’t play pool that often but I realize that I have a very poor skill at visualizing complicated or multiple angles on a pool table. Of course, angle of incidence = angle of refraction but let’s prove it. Why not have a practice laser ball* and mirrors just above the bumper. When you are about to make a shot you could use a remote to turn on the ball’s lasers. Maybe you could step through an array of angles. Let’s say that at 45 degrees the laser hits the bumper’s mirror and reflects right to the side pocket. Lock the ball (light comes on the back to tell you where to hit it) and take your shot.

Another idea is to have a laser in the cue, a clear cue ball, and clear tinted balls. The cue’s laser goes through the cue ball and shines through the ball to be hit and shines on the mirrors and shows you where the ball will end up**. Move the cue stick till the laser hits the desired pocket. Practice till you are making multi bank shots then you can become a hustler.

*These balls will need to have some sort of self leveling laser circle that can point in a number of directions.

** I guess if you plan on just scraping the desired ball with the cue ball there is no good way to use the cue laser?

The easiest part of this idea is how you would see the laser line. This is solved the minute you walk into the smoky billiards hall.
-- crabbie, Mar 06 2003

Tutor Table http://www.halfbake.../idea/Tutor_20Table
related idea by [reap] [krelnik, Oct 17 2004]

Nice idea, but it wouldn't be able to simulate spin.
-- hippo, Mar 06 2003

Hippo right: And not just vector (aim) and spin. The right shot also requires knowledge of desired force (speed), AND THEN proper execution of all three.
I think this would be cool to have, because I have trouble with the simple things, like pointing my stick in the right direction.
And I'd say the real difference between good players and 'hustlers' (someone who will take your money with a smile) is table management, intuition for future shots that goes beyond how well the current shot is executed.
-- roby, Mar 06 2003

Serious snooker/pool players spend a lot of time developing their shot action, just like golfers and their swings. It's no good knowing where you want to aim if you can't actually make the ball go in that direction.
-- Mayfly, Mar 06 2003

random, halfbakery