Nike Patents Footwear, Golf Clubs With Digital Sensors

nike Los Angeles — Nike Inc. was issued patents last week for golf clubs that include digital measuring equipment and shoes equipped with data transmission systems to track their use and send the information to a computer or other device.

U.S. Patent Number 8,258,941, issued Sept. 4 and titled “ Footwear products including data transmission capabilities,” covers a shoe with a transmission system that transmits data to a remote system. Such footwear systems may also include activation systems for activating the transmission or display systems.

The transmitted data may be used for various purposes, such as identifying a user of the article of footwear, activating targeted advertising or product information, or confirming the user’s presence at a specific location or at a specific time.

The data may also be used for determining start, finish or intermediate split times for a specific user, confirming athletic equipment usage, providing data for a game or reward program or registering the user for an event or competition, among other possible uses, according to the patent abstract.

U.S. Patent Number 8,257,191, titled “ Golf clubs and golf club heads having digital lie and/or other angle measuring equipment” and also issued Sept. 4, covers golf club heads with sensors configured to measure one or more swing parameters. The golf club head may include several gyroscopes and accelerometers.

In one embodiment, the club head contains three gyroscopes that measure angular rate data along different orthogonal axes. At least one gyroscope may be an analog gyroscope, while accelerometers may provide data regarding the three orthogonal axes associated with the gyroscopes.

The club head may also include software or hardware that perform computer-executed methods for determining one or more swing parameters. Club heads could also include a display device for displaying an output of the swing parameters.

Further aspects of the invention relate to novel methods and algorithms for calculating measurements relating to the swing parameters.




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