Janova paddle brings performance-tracking smarts to table tennis
Monitoring your performance can help you improve in pretty much any sport, and that includes table tennis. The German-designed Janova paddle was created with this fact in mind, as it tracks your strokes while you play.
Although the Janova may look like a standard wooden table tennis paddle (or racket or bat, depending on what part of the world you live in), its handle houses a Bosch 9-axis motion sensor, a Bluetooth module, a 64-MB memory chip, and a rechargeable 100-mAh lithium battery.
The idea is that users will start each match by pairing the paddle with an accompanying smartphone app, although if that's not possible, the paddle's onboard memory can record data for later upload to the app. In either case, as the user proceeds to play, the device tracks their total number of strokes, the number of forehand vs backhand strokes, plus the speed and angle of each stroke.
The app will subsequently display all of that data, along with the duration of the game, the name of the opponent (as input by the user), and a graph showing how the user's performance is progressing over time. And as is the case with most "smart" training device apps, users can additionally post their latest and greatest stats for other users to see on an online leaderboard, plus they can take part in challenges with those people.
Should you be interested, the Janova paddle is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of €170 (about US$187) will get you one. The planned retail price is €200 (US$220).
It's demonstrated in the following video.