Smash, swing, drive your tennis progress with wearables

Smart bands are becoming more sophisticated by the minute. Whereas the traditional bands measure stepcounts and activity levels only, the advancements in sensing technology as well as their evolved application allows for an entire range of additional body signs to be measured. This allows to use wristbands not only for classical fitness tracking but in a wider variety of sports. We took a closer look at tennis wearables in this article:

On the racket: 3D analysis sensorsWT Tennis Technology

The company Zepp specializes in sensors that measure – in 3D – the swing of a racket, bat or golf club). The sensor is attached to the racket and measures impact power of the ball, type of stroke and consistency of racket placement and the time you spent on the tennis court. The 3D measurement is a USP of this bluetooth device that carries a rechargeable battery (run time: 8 hours).

Price: ca. $205

The red Sony Smart Tennis Sensor is attached to the handle and registers shot type, spot impact, ball speed & spin (21 levels) and more. The paired app is very elaborate and additionally includes a video record feature that syncs with these parameters in real time. In other word it creates quite an interesting real-time shot analysis paired with the video that you then watch back.

Price: ca. $200. Expected shipping date February 2015

In the handle: this racket may be smarter than youKEY VISUAL BABOLAT PLAY

French company Babolat is known for its mid to topsegment priced rackets The company not only prides itself in being the manufacturer of tennis equipment with the longest history in the world, it also always looks ahead and develops new ways for tennis players to improve their game.

The Babolat Play racket includes sensors in the handle that measure e.g. placement of the ball on the racket head (the app shows you deviation from the sweet spot), number and type of shots, amount of spin. On the app you can compare your performance to that of Babolat friend-of-the-family Rafael Nadal. If that triggers, you the investment in the pricey racket will definitely be worth your while.

Retail price: $550

On the skin: bio-sensing tennis shirt

None other than fashion house Ralph Lauren wishes to link into the professional tennis world and introduced a sensor clad smart shirt during US Open Championships tournament in New York this past fall.

Executive vice president of the company David Lauren pushes high-tech into high fashion. The new compression shirt features silver bio-thread sensors knitted into the fabric, which read biological and even physiological information. The bio-sensing silver fibers are integrated into nylon compression material. Data is transferred onto a small, non-intrusive black box attached on the shirt and is not in direct contact with the skin. The box unit (which you can and should detach from the shirt before washing it) communicates with the paired app, giving you insight in heart rate, how you breathe, stress levels, stepcounts and calories burned.

The shirt will be ready for retail in spring 2015; price will be announced at a later stage.

On the wrist: Measuring angle, impact and swing

Sports loving nation Australia is active in the field of wearable devices for perforformance improvement. CEO of Smash Wearables Rob Crowder has developed a wristband that is expected to be ready for shipping as of February 2015. The wristband carries sensors that can measure angles and pressure on the arm. The paired app lets the user track progress as provides you with tips for improving your swing.
Metrics: Number of shots and the device can distinguish between forehand, backhand and serve, speed of swing, impact force on racket and placement, angle of the writs, spin, consistency of impact and more. The paired app will tell you how you could improve your technique.
Price tag: $119 (minimum pledge on kickstarter). Expected shipping date: February 2015.

Interested in more sporty wearables? Visit our WT | Wearable Technologies booth at ISPO or join us as an exhibitor and become part of the WT | Wearable Technologies Show!