Smartwatches/Bands
Smash serves up tennis advice to turn you into an ace

The Premise. Anyone who has ever tried to simply hit the ball both over the net and within bounds knows that tennis is a lot harder than it looks. Mastering the game can take years and the specialized advice of a professional coach that knows what needs fixing.

The Product. Smash is a wristband that circumvents the coach almost entirely by analyzing every detail of the hitting motion on each swing of the racket. From velocity of serves to follow-through form and even hitting strategies, the Smash records all data during a match silently and without breaking up the action. Afterwards, the Smash syncs easily to its proprietary app, crunching all of that data into something easier to understand, with precise metrics and analysis that provides simple tips on how to improve one’s game immediately. Smash also features social functions that allow players to challenge one another and determine who has the best skill in local or national areas.

The Pitch. Smash inventor Rob Crowder clearly has the tennis bug, which makes Smash all the better for its attention to detail and ability to improve one’s play. The presentation and the app user interface is clean, modern, and bright, motivating players to do better each and every time. Crowder and his team need $200,000 AUD to produce and test the device for durability, weather, and general quality.

The Perks. For $129 AUD, a Smash wristband will arrive at any tennis enthusiast’s doorstep in February 2015. Anyone that wants to help refine the device before it becomes available via retail can do so with the Alpha Testing Edition for $299 AUD, available in December 2014. Those who prefer the personal touch can get a Smash engraved with production number and backer’s name for $399 AUD.

The Potential. For people who want to learn the game of tennis, Smash could be a fantastic aid to everyone without the budget to hire a personal coach. Perhaps the last thing the world needs is another athletic tracker on everyone’s wrist before the gym starts looking like a group of people trying to sell watches in a back alley. Still, Smash belongs there to analyze every bit of movement from every hit of the ball and provide helpful tips to improve one’s game each and every time. Don’t expect to see these popping up at Wimbledon any time soon, but younger players who need to learn the tiny differences that separate the good from the best will be served well by using Smash.