PARIS – Motion sensing and gesture recognition company Movea SA and tennis equipment manufacturer Babolat said they have developed a motion sensing enabled racquet to analyze game play and improve performances. The first “Babolat Play & Connect” racquet prototype was demonstrated at the ongoing 2012 French Open tennis tournament in Roland Garros stadium in Paris.
Motion-sensing technologies are enabling a new generation of sports equipment and sportswear that can monitor, analyze, and improve the performance of sports enthusiasts and athletes.
The Play & Connect racquet, Movea and Babolat claimed, is the first MEMS technology enabled racquet with the built-in ability to gather and analyze game data and provide information that could only be manually measured up to now. It uses Movea’s SmartMotion data fusion technology to measure specific elements of a player’s technique.
Babolat Play & Connect racquet
Movea and Babolat noted that the Play & Connect racquet has three key objectives: Inform, improve and share.
Firstly, it aims to inform by enabling measurement and analysis of game play for elements, such as stroke qualification, ball spin, ball position on string bed, power during play, service speed.
Secondly, it is meant to improve by enabling players and instructors to set goals and follow progress on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Finally, it interacts because the connected racquet lets players post their game play data on their social networks to encourage themselves, challenge their friends and seek tips and advice from friends, instructors, amateur and professional players.
Babolat Play & Connect racquet - Analyze shots
Babolat Play & Connect racquet - Compare
Babolat Play & Connect racquet - Analyze data
“The racquet of the future will be the first instance where sensor integration has ever occurred in commercially available tennis equipment,” stated Sam Guilaumé, CEO of Movea. “With Movea’s unique SmartMotion data fusion technology, this innovation will enhance the player’s experience by providing a new and fun way to interact with the game through new tools that analyze and help improve performance.”
Note that Movea told EETimes
it could not share visuals on the MEMS technology yet, per its contract with Babolat.
The Babolat Play & Connect racquet is expected to be launched in 2013.
Inside tomorrow's racquet with Rafa and Toni Nadal
Click on the image for a video demonstration.