Huawei plotting big new golf tracking features for future smartwatches

Patent details new golf mode that will analyse swing and determine club speed
Huawei Huawei golf
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Huawei is planning a powerful golf mode for a future Huawei Watch, which can detect and analyse the quality of the player’s swing.

In a recent new patent filing, the company describes how motion sensors could be used to monitor the “strike action” and provide feedback to help the player improve their swing rhythm and stability, as well as monitor the club head speed – an important metric in understanding gains or losses in distance.

The features described by the patent eclipse those offered by the popular Garmin range of golf watches like the flagship MARQ, which measures swing tempo (backswing time divided by the downswing time), but not the speed.

The filing, spotted by Wareable, explains how the golf mode could also distinguish between practice strokes, whiffs, ground hits, and a clean strike of the ball by interpreting sound, angular velocity, and acceleration data.

HuaweiHuawei golf

To do this the wearable would capture the start and end points of upswings and downswings, as well as the time taken between each of those stages. Thus, it would be able to determine full swings for a drive or iron shot, or perhaps a half swing for a chip or layup.

The waveform graphs for each establish the difference between a clean strike and one where you’ve taken a massive divot. Or, in many amateurs’ cases, those occasions where you don’t hit the ball at all. 

The golf mode would also be trained to analyse the sound to determine a strike of the golf balls and the number of strikes throughout the round. Combining the accelerometer, gyroscope and audio will establish whether it was an effective strike action or an ineffective strike action, the patent says.

“This application provides a swing action detection method and a wearable device. The wearable device collects a sound signal by using a sound collector, to determine whether a user strikes a ball,” the patent reads. 

HuaweiHuawei golf

“In addition, a swing action parameter of the user is obtained with reference to exercise data collected by the wearable device by using a motion sensor, so as to detect a strike action of the user, and effectively assist the user in improving a strike rhythm.”

As well as swing rhythm (ratio of upswing time to downswing time), the golf mode would also provide users with swing speed data, which traditionally requires a dedicated launch monitor device to calculate. It has become a key data point for golfers to analyse the state of their game and explain gains or shortfalls in distance. 

“In the following embodiments of this application, the swing speed is an actual rotational speed of a club head of a golf club,” the patent adds. 

“The wearable device collects acceleration data and angular velocity data of the wrist of the user. The wearable device may calculate a rotational speed of the wrist of the user based on the collected acceleration data and angular velocity data, and then calculate an actual rotational speed of the club head of the golf club based on a formula.”

All data would be fed back to a mobile app that would display the number of shots, but also key insight into swing rhythm, with suggestions for improving it. For example, the user might see an insight reading: “The swing rhythm is too slow. It is suggested you shorten up the swing time.” From there, you may also get some training recommendations to help improve.

Of course, there’s no guarantee this technology would make it into a future Huawei wearable. However, the patent filing establishes a fleshed-out idea, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the next-gen, 2024 Huawei Watch had a powerful and eminently useful new golf mode.

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Chris Smith


Chris has more than decade of experience writing for the UK's foremost technology publications including TechRadar, T3 and more.

 A freelance journalist based near Miami, Florida, Chris has written for Wareable since its inception in 2014. From reviews of the latest fitness devices, and in-depth features on bleeding-edge wearable devices, to future-gazing interviews with some of the industry's brightest minds, Chris covers the lot. He also writes about sport for The Guardian and is the author of many technology guide books, while also dabbling in film, music, beer, travel and political commentary.

When he's isn't smashing away at the keys of his MacBook, Chris can be found at his favourite craft breweries, dangling his rod in the warm waters of the Florida Keys, or exploring the Shropshire countryside.

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