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Owen Coyle's training sessions are going to get way more intense with augmented reality table tennis

Feng Li

It's a pretty quiet day in the world of Bolton Wanderers. The first team is wrapping up their Spanish training camp and will soon head home to continue preparations as Tuesday's friendly against Rotherham United approaches. It seems as though things are calming down a bit with the weekend on its way. As a result, we've decided to have some and expand our focus a bit to a piece of new technology and how it'll affect a club rival managed by a certain former Wanderers boss.

Owen Coyle's training at Bolton Wanderers (or lack thereof) is not a secret to the fanbase by any stretch of the imagination. It is a topic that has received much attention in the wake of Dougie Freedman's summer overhaul as well as when we look back at the injuries that tore the team to shreds during Coyle's tenure. When we say training under Owen Coyle, we of course mean table tennis.

The new piece of technology in question is called Pingtime, "a table tennis concept that captivates the players in an augmented reality world, where surfaces bend and fluorescent balls send ripples of electricity." Using projection mapping techniques, the software can project shapes, patterns, and effects on the table while keeping an eye on the ball and judging reaction times.

With a little bit more practice, Owen Coyle's new players at Wigan could perhaps finally beat him in one of the man's famous tournaments. Speaking in 2010, Kevin Davies did not hold back at all describing the then-Bolton manager's ping pong prowess:

"I do not play table tennis very often. I got my arse spanked a couple of times by him. He is a very competitive guy. He does not like losing at anything.

With a little bit of work, the technology can be used to create competitions, target areas, and so on, potentially sharpening skills. This is something that has been done before with billiards, below.