3D verses 6D biomechanics

Many professionals that I speak to who are interested in biomechanics are not 100% sure what is the difference between 3Dof and 6Dof.  So I’ll try and give you my take on the technology and what it means and what it can give you.

Lets start with 3Dof.  sensors usually gyroscopic or magnetic they measure your rotation e.g. shoulder turn and hip turn, pitch forward and back (as though you are touching your toes), Tilt or side bend (leaning to the side.)  These sensors are wired or wireless costing less in price with the K-vest an example of these wireless sensors.  For around £4000  you can start putting numbers to many of the movements a golfer makes.

6 Dof offers 3 more dimensions lateral movement (side to side), Forward and back as though walking towards a front facing camera and then moving away, then finally up and down.  These sensors at present are either infra-red or electromagnetic with wires.  Excluding infra-red there are no wireless sensors available on the market at present.  An example of the electromagnet sensors systems for golf is the AMM system cost in excess of £12000, for infra-red then Vicon are one of the leaders as their technology allows you to almost cover the whole body with up to as many as 25 sensors maybe more cost £500,000.


The biggest difference is the amount of data and also the refresh speed (similar to shutter speed).  I have used all 3 technologies for sometime and as much as I would like a vicon system the price point is too rich for me.  They have a system at Birmingham University you should see one in action it’s very impressive.

The Electro magnetic systems even though you get lateral movement, the rising of the hips the price is still a little mch and the wires coming off the sensors is a little off putting.

The Wireless solution in my favorite,  if there were 6 dof systems wireless that would be the perfect choice for me.


In my opinion it will be a matter of time where we will all be using one of these systems.  With the top golfers earning so much money it’s a race to get to the top and every little could help.  Padraig Harrington is one of greatest success stories using these types of systems and others to improve his game.


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