The wearable tech market is growing rapidly, and while it might sometimes seem like an unnecessary luxury for most walks of life, one place it actually does make sense is in sports. Athletes are always looking for ways to improve their performance, and wearable devices allow them to track exactly what they need to work on. Smash is a new device that its creator hopes will offer these benefits specifically to tennis players.
The general goal of Smash is to monitor the consistency of players wearing it. Rob Crowder, the Australia-based creator, promises a lightweight wristband and application that allows tennis lovers to keep track of all kinds of statistics based on their movements.
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Smash has trackers that record lots of key stats. It can monitor number and type of shots, racket head speed, racket head momentum, amount of spin, wrist rotation, stroke trajectory, impact point consistency, and technique consistency. With these metrics, the application is able to draw some conclusions about the player's game, and with that, it can offer recommendations to allow for improvements.
The wrist band is designed to last for six to eight hours of play time on one battery charge, which should be more than sufficient for your average play session. It weighs about 15 grams, and has a width of 27 mm (1.06 in) at its widest point and a depth of 5.6 mm (.22 in). This means that, in theory, it should be comfortable enough to wear for long periods without impeding the ability to play.
The application, which will be available for both iOS and Android, promises to do more than just spit data back to the user. According to the creators, it will display tips and advice, and allow users to set goals to improve their game. It will also show which parts of a user's game need the most work, allowing them to focus on the problem areas instead of the aspects that they are best at. Additionally, it will also show improvements over time, allowing to user to see that their hard work is paying off.
Rob Crowder and the rest of the Smash team are seeking funding on Kickstarter. The project has an AUD $200,000 (US$184,500) goal, and while still early in the funding period, it still has a long way to go. Backers who would like to preorder a Smash can do so for a minimum pledge of AUD $129 ($119). From there, the pledges go up to AUD $159 ($147) with a February 2015 ship date.
The Kickstarter pitch video below provides more information on the Smash wearable.