Science has allowed for significant advances in myriad ways, from medical treatments that have saved millions of lives to solving many of the mysteries behind our place in the universe. But when it’s not busy conquering those kinds of things, it’s helping you win $40, double or nothing, in bars across the nation.
PoolLiveAid was a student project developed by Luise Sousa, Ricardo Alves, and J.M.F. Rodriques of the University of Algarve in Portugal, and while it doesn’t tell you how to handle a cue stick or how much English to pepper the cue ball with, the ceiling-mounted camera will tell you the angles to use in making the perfect shot every time. Save yourself the $15 on that instructional video some creepster made in the late 1970s. Hold out for this novel invention, which actually has no plans of going past the prototype stage at present time, but almost certainly will get bought up in the future. Though it will probably cost more than $15.
The camera itself maps out the table’s borders, pockets and ball presence — coincidentally what that instructional video’s host got arrested for in the early 1980s — and its processor essentially watches the game and advises you as you go, via a light-projected path, on how to sink the ball. It just assumes you won’t scratch on the eight ball, unlike your opponent, who never signed up to let you use PoolLiveAid in the first place, and is throwing around words like “pool shark,” so you better snatch that money and skedaddle.
The way I figure it, you can teach someone everything about how to hit a cue ball, but if they can’t compute multi-ball scenarios, they’re pretty useless. But if you know how the way to put the other ball in the pocket, you can just trial and error hitting the cue ball until you master it. I don’t have any professional background in pool instruction, but I’ve paid for my education in quarters. And hey, if you can’t master this game, you can always look for the best air hockey tables to master or take up a game of cards.