Some inventions are just way ahead of their time. Perhaps in 10 years we will all be playing golf balls that provide a readout of our last shot’s ball speed, launch angle, spin rate, carry, and roll; but I am not going to bet on it (although it would be legen-“wait-for it”-dary).
This week’s amazing golf ball patent application comes from Nike, no surprise, and is directed to a golf ball that incorporates a data display on the outer surface. Yes, check this out!
The drawings come from an application that published as US Pub. No. A plurality of layers and elements are incorporated into a golf ball to display values for various swing characteristics on a display layer of a ball. A calculator is incorporated to calculate a value of at least one swing characteristic. A weighted light source is incorporated to display the value on a display layer. The display layer is a substantially opaque layer.
The application goes on to explain:
 Accordingly, it may be helpful to a golfer to be able to have access to objective data to be able to determine what errors the golfer may be making, so that he or she can correct his or her swing. It is known in the golf industry to embed a sensor to detect data relating to a swing into a ball and to transmit that data to another device, such as a handheld device or a remote device. It is also known in other industries to include a display on a ball of data sensed from a sensor in the ball, so that no other equipment is required. However, such a system has not been used in the golf industry, due to stresses on the ball and the force of impact a golf ball must endure. Displays commonly used for such applications are unable to withstand the force of impact of a golf club and, in some cases, with the ground or other obstacles on a course, and therefore, do not have the durability necessary to be used in golf applications.
 What is desirable instead is a ball that is self-contained, in that a golfer may use the ball to determine his or her swing characteristics without having to purchase or synchronize other equipment. In addition, what is desirable is that the ball be designed so that the cover of the ball can function as a display to inform the golfer of the swing characteristics just by the golfer viewing the ball. In this manner, the golfer can have the desired information with no additional equipment to carry or purchase, while the ball has adequate durability to be played with conventional equipment on a conventional course.
 In one embodiment, a golf ball capable of displaying at least one swing characteristic is disclosed. The golf ball may include a calculator, a cushion layer, at least one intermediate layer, a display, and a light source. The calculator may be capable of calculating a value for at least one swing characteristic. The cushion layer may surround the calculator. The at least one intermediate layer may surround the cushion layer. The display may be positioned relative to the light source in a manner such that the display is capable of displaying the calculated value. The light source is capable of transmitting light from the calculator to the display and thereby displaying the calculated value on the display. The ball may further include a weight capable of orienting the light source in a generally upward direction.
 In another embodiment, a golf ball incorporating a display device for displaying data on a golf ball layer is disclosed. The golf ball may include a light source, a weight, and a display layer. The light source may have three degrees of rotational freedom and may be positioned in a central region of a golf ball. A weight may be attached to the light source and may orient the light source in a generally upward direction. The display layer may be continuous and may be configured to display light emitted from the light source when the light source is positioned in any rotational position.
 In another embodiment, a device for displaying at least one swing characteristic on a layer of a ball is disclosed. The device includes a calculator, a light source, a weight, a cushion layer, at least one intermediate layer, and a display layer. The calculator, light source, and weight may be attached to one another and may be encapsulated in a sphere. The sphere may be located in a central area of the ball. The calculator may be capable of calculating at least one swing characteristic. The cushion layer may surround the encapsulated sphere. The cushion layer may also be designed to permit movement of the encapsulated sphere independent of movement of the ball. The at least one intermediate layer may surround the cushion layer. The display layer may encapsulate the intermediate layer. The light source and the display layer may be configured to permit the light source to display a value for the at least one swing characteristic at any location on the display layer. The weight, calculator, and light source may be attached to one another in a manner such that the weight is capable of orienting the light source to project light to display on the display layer in a generally upward direction.
Technically feasible? Perhaps. Feasible in a performance golf ball? Unlikely. Economically feasible? Absolutely not!