If you're a tennis enthusiast, the wearable tech revolution can add extra fun into your game and even make you a better player. From critiquing your forehand and offering in-depth data about how fast and accurate your stokes were or how much ground you covered, there's a wearable to help you.
Connected tech is, to some degree, still in its infancy but it's already breaking out of the arena of general activity monitoring and into the professional world of sport.
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We've looked into a number of wearable (and not so wearable) tech devices and the prognosis is good. So grab your racquet and get cracking. Wimbledon (and the country) depends on you.
The latest tennis crowdfunding success story comes from Silicon Valley startup TuringSense. Combining a whopping 14 sensors for the top of the range pack, the coaching and monitoring system has been developed in partnership with Hall of Fame coach Nick Bollettieri.
Pivot promises to improve a player's game by recording 360 degree motion, preventing injuries and get statistics on a wide range of performance metrics including footwork, body position, elbow bend, knee bend, and more.
You don't need a camera, there's a hub that records all the biometric data each sensor sends – up to 1,000 data samples per second are sent, from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. You can watch back the action and see the analysis on the companion app.
From $279, TuringSense.com
Babolat AeroPro Drive Play
The Babolat Play Pure Drive looks and plays just like its top-selling stablemate of the same name. However, there is one major difference: this version comes with a bank of sensors integrated into the handle that records a player's tennis strokes before porting the stats to an Android or iOS device.
Simply put, this clever slice of hidden tech tracks a player's stroke power, ball impact position (sweet spot or edge) and the number of forehand, backhand, overhead and spin strokes performed during play. The data is then presented on your smartphone screen via a series of colourful, illustrative graphs.
Babolat has also partnered up with fellow sports sensor experts PIQ to deliver a smart wristband that will let players monitor a host of useful data. That includes groundstrokes, serves, topspin, volleys, rate and power. It can even record how many sets you've made it through and record you longest rally.
The neoprene wristband uses a 9 axis sensor along to track strokes and has enough storage for 10 hours of tennis. The companion app (iPhone and Android) will let you set challenges against your friends and view all of your stats from the session.
Zepp Tennis Kit
If you can't afford a top-of-the-line Babolat Play Pure Drive racquet, use your own racket and attach this similarly-styled Bluetooth sensor to the end of it. The Zepp is compatible with both Android and iOS devices and measures a whole bunch of data, including power, sweet spot, shot type, spin and time on court. One especially neat feature is the way it displays a three dimensional real-time analysis of your stroke that can be viewed from various angles.
The Zepp is charged via USB and runs for up to eight hours. And that's longer than any tennis match in history, bar John Isner and Nicolas Mahut's marathon 11 hour Wimbledon summit of 2010. For the record, Zepp also produce similar sensor packages for golfers and baseball players.
A successfully crowdfunded smartwatch designed for tennis players, the Pulse Play is will keep tabs on your game score, as well as put you in touch with other players. Designed by seasoned double grand slam champ Andy Ram, you can keep score mid-game with the touch of a button, and most impressively, get scores announced using the voice of Homer Simpson.
Don't be confused by the name, however; the Pulse Play has nothing to do with your heart rate, which coincidentally would be a great feature in a tennis watch.
Other features include being able to hook up with similarly rated tennis players in your local area, though we assume that's done via a companion app rather than the band itself – like some kind of doubles partner homing beacon.
Sony Smart Tennis
Not one to miss out on the latest in sports technology, Sony, too, has developed a standalone Bluetooth-equipped racquet sensor for use with models from select manufacturers like Wilson, Prince and Yonex.
The Japanese company's Smart Tennis device is said to use wave and motion-detection sensors and vibration analysis technology to measure the various types of strokes before transferring the data to a Smartphone app for post-match performance analysis.
This ingenious tennis coaching system is designed for clubs – unless, of course, you have your own private court. PlaySight is an interactive 'after action review system' that uses four automated cameras to provide feedback footage of a player's technique.
The system tracks stroke types, serve speed, accuracy, distance covered, even the number of unforced errors, and these stats are then uploaded to the PlaySight.com portal for private perusal on any smartphone or desktop computer.
There are currently just two PlaySight courts in the UK (London's Queens Club and Stoke Park County Club) and the United States Tennis Association is set to equip all 102 tennis coursts in the USTA National Campus with the smart court tech.
Session prices vary, playsight.com
While it has all the tech of a Casio smartwatch, it's another firmly aimed at the tennis market. Another two-buttoned scoring system keeps tabs on your game, and you can get a breakdown of your game afterwards. Your fans around the world can also keep tabs on your games with Jeff from accounts via the app, which connects to your watch by Bluetooth LE.