While tennis is steeped in tradition, it was actually one of the first sports to embrace technology. Today, there is no shortage of data collecting gizmos helping amateurs and wannabe pros take their game up a notch. This includes everything from sensors that attach to the butt of the racquet, those that are built into the grip, data collecting wristbands and sensors that sit on your strings and double as a vibration dampeners.
Essential reading: Tennis gadgets and trackers to improve your game
The latest arrival to what is slowly becoming a crowded space is the HEAD Tennis Sensor. Launched last month, the device is a result of collaboration between wearable tech company Zepp and well known sports and clothing company HEAD.
The HEAD Tennis Sensor either comes already integrated with the racquet or as a separate attachment. The attachment is compatible with a range of Head Graphene XT and Graphene Touch racquets. Featuring a flat design and coming in at only 7 grams, the sensor does not add any bulk. In fact, it weights exactly the same as a standard HEAD Cap, which ensures you get the exact same feel to the racquet.
There is no on/off button. Instead, the sensor will switch itself on when the racquet is in the upright position, the cap facing the sky. Battery life is around 5 hours.
Hardware aside, the accompanying smartphone app lets you choose between four different types of sessions: Play, Train, Compete and 3D Serve.
In Play mode the sensor keeps tabs on your ball speed, spin and sweetspot. You also get a breakdown on the number of forehands, backhands, slices, volleys, smashes and serves. Unfortunately the app only shows the average and maximum session stats, so there is no way to view individual shots. Hopefully an upcoming software update will resolve that.
The Train mode allows you to choose from a broad range of sessions to boost your forehand, backhand or serve game. The Compete mode gives you the option of connecting up to four sensors to one device so you can compare stats after the match. Finally, the 3D Serve option provides interactive feedback on serve speed and form.
HEAD is certainly a welcome addition to the tennis sensor space. In fact, as one of the biggest players in the tennis equipment market it was an obvious omission until now.
Apart from the great design, we don’t really see much difference between the HEAD Tennis Sensor and other options on the market. But if you’re looking for a digital coach at the fraction of the price of a human trainer, the gizmo might be worth looking into. Check it out on Amazon or head.com.
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