Babolat Releases High Tech Racquet that Tracks how you Play Tennis
Babolat has developed a new tennis racquet capable of tracking various data from a match or practice. As a result of this innovation, tennis joins other sports like cycling and running that allow users to record performance data.
The new racquet, the Play Pure Drive has sensors built into the handle that can record stroke information. Stroke type and quantity, the impact location and spin are some of the different metrics that are tracked.
The information can be transmitted to a smartphone using a Bluetooth connection and an app or downloaded through a USB port located in the butt cap. The battery is good for six hours between charges and the memory can store up to 150 hours of play.
None of these features alter the playing characteristics of the racquet, which has the same weight and size of Babolat’s conventional Pure Drive model. The International Tennis Federation, the sport’s global ruling body, recently modified its rules to allow player analysis technology for competitive play in its sanctioned events.
The Play Pure Drive has elevated tennis to new levels by allowing the activity to be recorded just as other sports like cycling and running are recorded. It can be argued that these racquet innovations are more impressive; all cycling and running apps like Strava and SportyPal do is take existing technology like GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring and integrate them into one app.
Just as Strava has a social aspect that allows cyclists to follow and share performance with each other, Babolat allows similar sharing among tennis playing friends.
Babolat’s Play Pure Drive is another example that there is almost nothing that cannot be automated in some manner. It’s conceivable that similar technology could be used in sports like baseball and softball to help batters analyze hitting performance.
It also raises questions about what will be automated next. Would it be practical to place sensors on an athlete’s body that would track form and other attributes without interfering with performance? It’s hard to say. One thing is for sure: athletic training is shifting towards the scientific side and away from the old-school conventional wisdom side.
Edited by Maurice Nagle