from Courier Mail.com.au
by David Swan
Tennis great and Roger Federer's coach Stefan Edberg was on hand to launch Wilson's new racquet range.
The Internet of Things has promised to connect devices from across our households and the tennis court is evidently not immune, with Wilson launching its new range of smart sensor racquets at the Australian Open.
The new racquets, which feature Sony's proprietary Smart Tennis Sensor, wirelessly connect with smartphones and tablets using Bluetooth technology with performance data spontaneously visualised through an iOS and Android application.
Alongside showcasing real-time visualisations of swings including heat mapping and stats, the app can record rallies while simultaneously displaying shot metrics. The Smart Tennis Sensor also features social features that allow players to turns single and double player matches or practice sessions into an instant sharable experience across social media.
Former world number one and Roger Federer's current coach Stefan Edberg was on deck to help launch the new racquets, and said he thought technology was slow to come to tennis but that it was changing the game for the better.
"Overall technology is changing the world and while it's been very slow coming to tennis, but with technology now there are ways to improve your game and that's here to stay. In terms of stats and all the help they can provide, it's extremely helpful," he said.
It's understood Wilson's smart sensor racquets won't be used during the Open itself, but instead during practice sessions.
"Wilson is thrilled to be the exclusive distributor and marketing partner with Sony on this important Tennis technology advancement," said Mike Dowse, President of Wilson Sporting Goods Co.
Other racquet manufacturers are also getting in the game, with world number one Rafael Nadal revealing he's using a Babolat racquet fitted with app-enabled sensors in its handle.
As the Herald Sun reports Nadal's racquet, as with Wilson's effort, means at the end of a match or training session the data can be downloaded to a smart phone or computer and used to help analyse a player’s strengths and mistakes.
"I know to play well I need to play 70 per cent of forehands, 30 per cent of backhands," Nadal said after racing through his first-round Australian Open match over Mikhail Youzhny, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 on Monday. "If I’m not doing that, I know I’m not doing the right thing on court."
"This (racquet) is a way you can check these kinds of things," added the 14-time grand slam winner.
The Herald Sun also reports that International Tennis Federation had previously outlawed what it calls "player analysis technology" during competition but adopted a new rule last January that allows players to wear or use "smart" equipment, like Nadal’s new racquet and devices like heart-rate monitors that record data about player performance in real time.
Players themselves can't use the data during a game however, with an ITF ban on coaching during matches preventing players from consulting the data on court.
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