Babolat play and connect – data from your tennis racket
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
Babolat announced last week that they are developing a tennis racket, prototype to be shown first at the Roland Garros, that will store data about your swing and “flow”. They released very little else about its capabilities, but Eric Babolat, CEO, commented:
“Innovation is only valuable if it advances the game of tennis to the benefit of the greatest number of people, in 1875, Babolat invented the first strings for tennis racquets. More than 135 years of innovation and progress later, I am proud to present today our vision of the tennis of tomorrow, brought by our Play & Connect racquet.”
The planned launch date is 2013, so hopefully we will hear more about it then, but if the sensors integrated are similar to accelerometers then we can expect positional, velocity and acceleration data of the racket during use. It will be interesting to see how they separate a stroke with general play (probably through the accelerations and velocity), how they average the data over a particular stroke (so will it tell us the speed of a forehand smash, baseline shot, dropshot?), how the data will be presented to the public in a meaningful way (is it better to hit it faster? I doubt it because the racket would need to go at a specific speed to hit the baseline, any faster and it would overshoot) and how this will affect performance characteristics such as weight, vibration, sound and so on. Sensors will soon be in every sports product we use, but the hardest part is making sense of the data which is extracted. Sometimes position, power and speed are not necessarily the key parameters to look for. Understanding Babolat’s vision for the “flow of data” is intriguing and I am interested as to the market – competition or training. Would people buy a training racket? I don’t know but looking forward to finding out.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 7:37 pm and is filed under Bryan Roberts, Tennis. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.