The Babolat Play & Connect provides real-time information on gameplay, which can be used to improve technique or share results online.
Regular readers of Springwise may remember the miCoach performance-tracking system, which places trackers inside athlete’s apparel to provide live in-game data for coaches. Now tennis players have a similar system of their own in the form of Play & Connect from French brand Babolat, which features integrated sensors to provide real-time information on gameplay. The racquet can detect service speed, the power of each hit and ball spin to give players feedback on their performance. Sensors located in the handle also monitor the type of stroke — forehand, backhand, serve — and the position of the ball on the racquet, enabling analysis of both technique and game statistics. Information is sent wirelessly to a laptop, tablet or mobile device, on which users can view and organize the data, compare results over time and set goals to be completed. While the device would be useful for professional players and coaches looking for detailed analytics about performance, amateurs will also be able to use the Play & Connect to improve their game. With the device looking to be ready for market in 2013, players will be able to view their statistics and then upload them onto social networks to share results with friends or compare with other users. The video below shows the racquet in action: We’ve had smart bikes, soccer kits and now a tennis racquet. With powerful computational technology becoming ever smaller, it seems that there could be no end to the number of smart sports devices that could be developed. Equipment manufacturers, it’s over to you. Spotted by: Hemanth Chandrasekar