Sensors for measuring key metrics have finally moved onto the tennis courts. Sony has released a Smart Tennis Sensor that can be attached to a number of compatible tennis racquets from Wilson, Head, Prince, and Yonnex, with the aim being to record and analyse your shot-making performance.
The 8-gram sensor can be attached to the end of the handle on select racquets where the vendor logo is usually located, and it has the ability to record the number of shots, as well as provide vibration analytics: it can detect the impact area of a shot, the type of swing that was used, the speed of the swing, whether the ball spun, and what the ball's initial speed was.
Read our Guide to Using your Android Phone
Connection to Android or iOS smartphones or tablets is via Bluetooth for the purposes of synchronising data after a session, or for looking at real-time data through the Smart Tennis Sensor app. Up to 180 minutes worth of shots can be recorded when you don't use Bluetooth for real-time analytics, with charging time being approximately 120 minutes, according to Sony.
The sensor is waterproof, dustproof, but there is no word on impact resistance, so don't get too mad at any botched line calls just in case.
That said, it is just a practice device. You can use it to drive yourself to get better by tracking your progress after every session. Think of it as a Fitbit that records shots rather than steps, but which also records a lot more granular data for in-depth analysis. The sensor can even be used to sync with video footage, so your technique can be further scrutinised, and slow-motion and Motionshot sequences can also be created.