Connected technology keeps creeping its way into all kinds of activities, and tennis is a sport that seems to be at the forefront with products like Smash, Shot Stats and Play Pure Drive already coming out. Now, Sony is looking to get into the mix with the introduction of its creatively-named Smart Tennis Sensor. Generic name aside, Sony is promising some pretty cool features, so this might be one for tennis addicts to keep on their radar.
Sony is opting to go with a racket-mounted sensor for its device. The sensor sits right at the bottom of the racket's handle. The company is partnering with Wilson, and by extension, Prince and Yonex, to offer rackets compatible with the sensor, which it promises will feature a "compact enough body to accompany the sleek yet performance-driven rackets."
Most importantly, Sony is promising that this device will track just about every metric and statistic that a tennis player or coach could need. Things like shot count, ball impact spot, swing speed, ball speed and ball spin can be detected. Additionally, it will be able to tell the difference between shot types, so it will know if the player smashed the ball or hit a topspin forehand.
As you might expect, there's all kinds of sensors at play here, including motion, vibration, wave, and others. These, thanks to a Bluetooth connection, feed into the free companion application on iOS and Android. Sony is promising that the data will be available in real time, so practicing players can check out the shot data right as it happens.
A key thing to point out about this device is that it has been approved for use in competition by International Tennis Federation. Of course, that comes with some fine print, which basically says that the live features can only be used when coaching, but the recording of data is allowed at any point.
The Smart Tennis Sensor will be available directly from Wilson and at some retailers in January of 2015. It will come with a US$200 price tag. Sony and Wilson have not announced exactly how many rackets will support the system, but that information is expected to be made available soon.
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