Babolat Play & Connect: Improving your tennis game with data
Sports and personal fitness are prime opportunities for personal metrics. Continually seeking improvement and progress, people who enjoy sport at all levels often do so blind – without any type of deep understanding of their performance. Recently, Babolat, a French sport company specializing in tennis and other racquet sports, announced Play & Connect, a racquet with integrated sensors that provide real-time data on performance. Datapoints include the type of stroke (forehand, backhand, serve) as well as the position of the ball on the racquet. The data is sent wirelessly to a system that visualizes the data.
Launched at the French Open, Babolat had live demonstrations of the racquet in action, including Rafael Nadal who put it to the best. According to an article in Digital Trends, Eric Babolat, who runs Babolat, told Reuters that the racquet had the potential to change the game of tennis,”like going from silent cinema to movies with sound.”
Assuming there’s a dedicated website where Play & Connect data can be viewed, the whole system starts to feel very NikeRunning like – including a community and the ability to have goals, challenges, and discuss performance. Although I have never played tennis (yet!!) I can definitely see how this would be a great tool for current players, but also an innovative way to get new players interested in the game and help give them feedback about their play and suggestions for areas of improvement.
Here are a few videos showing the racquet in action: