Sony to Release Sensor Module for Tennis Rackets

2014/01/21 17:05
Tadashi Nakamichi, Nikkei Electronics

Sony Corp will release a sensor module that is attached to a tennis racket and measures a shot in late May 2014.

The announcement was made Jan 5, 2014. Though there is no manufacturer's suggested retail price of the sensor, "Smart Tennis Sensor SSE-TN1," its expected retail price is ¥18,000 (approx US$172).

The SSE-TN1 is a sensor module to be attached to the handle of a tennis racket and equipped with a three-axis acceleration sensor, three-axis gyroscope and a single-axis vibration sensor.

"We employed commonly-used acceleration sensor and gyroscope," Sony said. "Wideband vibrations that cannot be detected by the acceleration sensor are detected by a vibration sensor."

The SSE-TN1 has Bluetooth 3.1 wireless capability and can be connected to a smartphone by using a "serial profile." With a special smartphone application, it is possible to measure impact point, swing speed, the speed and rotation of a ball, etc in almost real time, enabling team members or coach on the bench to see such data and give advice based on the data.

It is also possible to take a video of a player with a smartphone and play the video in sync with the obtained data so that the form, etc of the player can be checked.

Currently, the only tennis rackets to which the SSE-TN1 can be attached are Yonex Co Ltd's "EZONE Ai 98/100/Lite" and "VCORE Xi 98/100/Tour G." But Sony is planning to increase the number of the SSE-TN1-compatible rackets.

"We will advance 'visualization' by enabling to link sensors of multiple players, analyze the trajectory of a ball with a camera and combine the sensor with the life-log module that we announced at 2014 International CES (See related article)," the company said. "And we will consider using the sensor for other sports."