In 2013 Babolat brought tennis to the information age through recordable stats and identifiable metrics with its Babolat Play racket. This year, the French outfit is looking to extend is range of connected products to include a detachable tennis sensor called Babolat Pulse.
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To date, Babolat is the only company that has built sensor technology into the butt of a tennis racket. Its connected range comes with a sensor embedded in the handle plus a matching app that syncs via Bluetooth, recording details of your playing performance. Thanks to a variety of sensors inside, the rackets analyse your game and spit out information into a mobile app. You are also able to chart your progress toward various skill levels.
Currently there are three rackets in the range: Babolat Play Pure Drive, Babolat Aero Pro Drive and Babolat Pure Drive Lite. All three of these play and feel exactly like their ‘more traditional’ counterparts.
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But the company’s range of connected tennis gadgets doesn’t end there. We recently wrote a review of the Babolat and PIQ tennis sensor. The bundle is composed of a PIQ sensor and the Babolat wrist display. This high-tech neoprene wristband is billed as the world’s first connected wristband with a real-time display.
Leaked marketing material suggests Babolat is, once again, planning to break new ground.
Similar to the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor, the new Babolat Pulse is a lightweight (8 grams), detachable sensor that fits the butt cap of the company’s rackets. However, for non-compatible rackets, the same device can be fitted onto the strigbed, i.e. it can be used as a vibration dampener.
Here is a snippet of the leaked marketing material.
The 6-axis sensors, 3d accelerometer and 3d high-speed gyroscope record a range of stats which you will need to sync via Bluetooth to the accompanying smartphone app at the end of your session. Battery life is a decent 8 hours and the device houses a memory chip with capacity to store 250 hours of play.
In terms of analytics, we can expect to see more of the same. The Babolat app will show you a breakdown of shots, racket speed, spin, rate, best rally, ball serve speed, ball impact location and more. There is no mention of video functionality or a shot by shot breakdown so perhaps Babolat is saving that for the 2018 version.
It looks like the French company may be moving away from building technology into rackets. The new Babolat Play is planned for release in August to coincide with the start of the US Open. There is no word on pricing yet.
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