Tennis Industry magazine

 

Tennis Technology: Smarten up!

With cutting-edge technology, PlaySight SmartCourts are helping players of all levels improve their games.

No matter where you are in the world, chances are you won’t be far from a PlaySight SmartCourt. There are now close to 500 SmartCourts across the U.S., Europe and Asia — including ones used by top national federations such as the USTA, Tennis Canada, Tennis Australia, and the German and French tennis federations.

All four Grand Slam venues — in New York, Paris, London and Melbourne — have SmartCourts. They’re at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, top tennis training academies and tennis clubs of all sizes. PlaySight is also working with top coaches Paul Annacone and Darren Cahill to ensure that SmartCourt users are getting the best tennis advice.

“SmartCourts are helping players of all ages and abilities — whether it is a rising junior, a USTA 3.0 league player, a top college recruit or an ATP or WTA professional — to both improve faster and enjoy the sport more,” says Jeff Angus, PlaySight’s marketing manager.

PlaySight says its SmartCourts can be added to any surface and any court configuration. At its core, a SmartCourt is a standard tennis court with permanently installed analytic cameras and a courtside kiosk that are connected to each other and the internet — which is what makes the court “smart.” PlaySight’s cameras use advanced 3D visual image processing to track everything that happens on court, from player movement to individual racquet strokes.

A standard SmartCourt has five cameras: four corner cameras that provide all analytics and player and shot tracking, and one overview camera that provides a fifth field of view and high-definition live streaming. A high-performance SmartCourt can have up to 10 cameras, with additional overview, baseline and service line views for added tactical analysis and video angles for instant replay and review. In addition, PlaySight also offers a one-court set-up called “LiveCourt,” which provides live streaming and video analysis tools.

SmartCourt installation typically costs $10,000 to $12,500 per court, and there is an associated monthly fee to cover all maintenance, hardware support and software upgrades. PlaySight is constantly adding new features to improve the on-court and off-court experience (web- and mobile-based), and PlaySight facilities receive regular upgrades and updates as part of the agreement.

Once a club or facility decides to purchase SmartCourts, PlaySight consults and assists throughout the process- — from advising on-court preparation for the cameras and technology, to the shipment of equipment, as well as installation, testing and training. Installation typically takes one to four days, depending on volume.

To add SmartCourts, a facility needs to have a strong internet connection (wired is preferred) and a dedicated power source. The site also needs to be prepared in advance of the PlaySight installation team. For outdoor court use, each kiosk comes with a screen cover, and PlaySight recommends providing additional sun and glare protection with either an umbrella or awning. The kiosk also needs to be cleaned regularly.

PlaySight works with facilities to ensure that players are aware of and excited about the new technology. “We help with marketing, promotions, and even lesson and hitting programs,” says Angus, “so that our club partners maximize the revenue they earn with the technology.”

For more information, visit PlaySight.com or email info@playsight.com.

 

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