With technological innovation reaching deep into the tennis market, Sony is the latest company to bring product to the UK market.
A small red piece of plastic is poised to revolutionise the UK tennis market with Sony set to launch its Smart Tennis Sensor in 2015 Compatible with most Wilson, HEAD, Prince, and Yonex rackets, the sensor, measuring 31.3mm in diameter and weighing approximately eight grams, offers real-time data via feedback from the racket.
Attached to the butt-cap of the racket, the sensor takes vibrational and gyro readings from the frame and feeds the data back to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. Ball speed, swing speed, spin and impact spot are all available in real time, or can be stored and downloaded later. It can also be used in conjunction with the video function on a smart phone to give a detailed breakdown of player strokes during replay.
Tennis coach Craig O’Shannessy, a strategy analyst for the ATP World Tour and WTA Tennis, believes the device is capable of changing the way tennis is played and coached at all levels of the game.
“This is not just another tennis gadget,” said O’Shannessy, who is the director of Brain Game Tennis. “It has all the hallmarks of being an industry game-changer because of the instant analysis of metrics that absolutely relate to players at all levels of the game getting better.”
Approved by the ITF in July 2014, the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor has been on sale in Japan since May, but is set to launch in North America in January 2015, with an anticipated Spring date yet to be confirmed for launch in the UK market.
Approval by the ITF means professionals can not only train with the device, but also play matches with it, and where on-court coaching is permitted, the data can be used to deliver feedback. Not only can the sensor be used with a number of different compatible rackets, it can also be paired with multiple devices, albeit not simultaneously and data can only be downloaded once.
Innovation in Tennis will be the theme of the TIA UK Summit to be held in April 2015 at the Queens Club. Further details coming soon.