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Do you want to get more from your tennis experience? Introducing Tennis Commander: the new wearable app serving as your personal coach!
100 backers pledged $10,203 to help bring this project to life.
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Tennis Commander: A watch over your game project video thumbnail
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$10,203

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  • Tennis Commander provides both qualitative and quantitative analysis of your game. In contrast with the other dedicated tennis sensor, you can read the details on your performance either in real-time, during the match itself, by just having a quick look at the smartwatch's display; or off-line, after your game, through your smartphone.
  • By using inexpensive bluetooth transmitters (shown in the picture above), Tennis Commander gives you innovative information on your positioning on the court, that no other sensor offers.
  • Tennis Commander gives you innovative details on your grip.
  • Tennis Commander introduces an innovative doubles game feature, specifically engineered for doubles.

Sounds interesting? Keep reading!

Tennis is a technically demanding sport. Modern tennis players take great care in perfecting their strokes: what tennis players seek most is consistency. They need to trust their own strokes and never fear having to perform them.

Enter Tennis Commander: the first app dedicated to tennis that runs on any Android Wear smartwatch. 

The market has seen the appearance of ad-hoc sensors that, applied to the racquet or to the wrist, provide the player with information such as swing speed, hitting spot, stroke type, spin. In the era of wearable devices, we believe we can do better! All of the required sensors, processing power and much more, are found, sometimes even more cheaply, in modern smartwatches. 

Moreover, by using a pair of inexpensive and commonly available bluetooth transmitters, Tennis Commander will provide you a whole new set of innovative information on your positioning on the court, that no other sensor provides, thus offering to the player a complete analysis of the game, in a way only professional games on television now feature (in some of the rewards, we offer the kind of transmitters that we tested). 

By way of cutting edge machine learning technology, we have played many hours of tennis, and let the smartwatch learn how to tell apart the various stroke types: we did not teach it how a forehand was performed; we showed it a few, and it learned by itself. This enables Tennis Commander to distinguish stroke types just like a dedicated sensor, and much more! It can learn the characteristics of someone’s game, using their stroke styles like a fingerprint. 

Tennis Commander does not require any dedicated hardware: it will match a dedicated sensor’s capability and surpass it by providing improved customization (teach it the difference between your first and second serve!).

 

 

We believe that you shouldn't have to spend money on a quite specific piece of hardware. The TC solution can be used on any standard Android smartwatch, giving you far more power in controlling your game than other tennis sensors on the market. That is why we spent countless hours on tennis courts with all kinds of players, from newbies to advanced, with varying playing styles and characteristics, to make sure that we had a fully engineered tool that would prove not only useful to the players but that would make them enjoy the game even more.

To the left: G. Prencipe ("The boss" of the Tennis Commander team). To the right: N. Mahut (2015 US Open doubles champion).
To the left: G. Prencipe ("The boss" of the Tennis Commander team). To the right: N. Mahut (2015 US Open doubles champion).

 

We have worked out, implemented and tested the science behind Tennis Commander. In order to roll out a reliable, effective application we now need to extend the tests to a wide variety of smartwatches, optimize the user interface, and collect more playing data from an even wider typology of players, including professional ATP players. We already have the support of a great tennis player: Nicolas Mahut (2015 US Open Doubles Champion), who strongly believes in the potential of Tennis Commander.  

We strongly believe in the power of the crowd. The success of our idea depends also on youHelp us unleash the potential of Tennis Commander, and support us!

Based on a software solution supported by hardware that is more powerful than a dedicated sensor’s, Tennis Commander can do even more.

 

This is the big feature we are really proud of: by using a pair of bluetooth transmitters (hardware that’s readily and cheaply available off the shelf), Tennis Commander will give you details on your position on the court as you hit, thus reaching a level of completeness in statistics reports that other sensors definitely lack! 

We tested several kinds of transmitters: in few of the rewards, we offer the ones that gave us optimal results.

You will have access to a heat-map showing your positions on the court during the match, with information on the distance you covered, along with information on the type of stroke played from a given zone of the court.

 

TC will provide you with detailed information on your strokes.

Type and Intensity: Tennis Commander provides real-time visual information on the type of stroke you just played, its intensity as well as the average intensity of that stroke during your game.

 

Grip type: have you ever hit the ball to the net or up to the sky? Maybe it was just your grip that needed adjustments. Tennis Commander will give you information on the kind of grip you used in your last stroke. In addition, also, the borders of the grip's icon are colored in a heat-map style, giving you a visual representation of which grip you are using more frequently for a given stroke (blue being less often, and red most often).

 

Fluidity and Consistency: You will have real-time information about the fluidity and consistency of your strokes.

Game Video Recording: you will be able to record your game on your smartphone and see it tagged with the relevant information. Also, you can search the video "by stroke"; quite a useful feature to break down strengths and weaknesses in your swing.

 

In a doubles game, when both players are equipped with a smartwatch, the application can keep track of the movement of the players. This is a critical factor in a successful doubles team and will help to identify potential issues with the game (e.g. lack of coverage of the court, the player at the net rarely participating, etc.).

Tennis Commander will provide you hints and advice on the game you are playing. For instance:

  • Does the current game significantly differentiate from your standards? How can you turn it around? 
  • You’re hitting your forehand with less spin than usual -- check your grip! 
  • You’re playing more than usual on your backhand side: Is your opponent stressing that particular stroke? 

Our “radar charts” will give you an instant feel of the kind of game you are playing. Also, using your history, Tennis Commander will support you during your game with advice and strategic guidance.

 

Since it’s based on sophisticated machine learning techniques, you will be able to highly customize the “brain” of Tennis Commander and tailor the whole system to your own characteristics.

Two players using Tennis Commander on the court can play against each other through the app, scoring points based on factors such as overall game play, style and strategy. 

Also, via a specific cloud service, you will be able to find potential sparring partners. As more and more players start using Tennis Commander, you will have the chance to access a list of players along with their playing characteristics, and thus to find fellow players who adapt well to your style of play. 

 

 

 

Apart from a set of beautiful gadgets with a nicely printed Tennis Commander logo, we are proud to reward our most generous backers, for their valuable support, with tennis items signed by ATP Professional player Nicolas Mahut himself!

Let’s start with 39 (weird number, eh?!) tennis balls signed by our biggest supporter!

Signed hats....

  ....T-shirts….

….and utimately, Wilson racquets signed by Nicolas -- racquets he actually used in the course of his 2016 season!

International artist Francesco Zavattari (http://www.zavattari.com), who collaborates with us on Tennis Commander, produced a special piece of art exclusively designed for our backers, that is part of the TWEENER pledge. 

Francesco Zavattari - 'Over your game'. Ink and acrylic on quality corrugated paper, 25 by 50 cm. The drawing comes in a tennis ball tube (along with certificate of authenticity).
Francesco Zavattari - 'Over your game'. Ink and acrylic on quality corrugated paper, 25 by 50 cm. The drawing comes in a tennis ball tube (along with certificate of authenticity).

 

Finally, for some pledges, we offer as a reward the bluetooth transmitters that we used in out localization tests, and that gave us optimal results.

The bluetooth transmitters used for localization.
The bluetooth transmitters used for localization.

 

The team behind Tennis Commander started out small in 2014 with the preliminary task of addressing the key scientific elements and domain properties. The team initially featured qualified scientists well-versed in processing sensor data, Big Data and Machine Learning technologies. As coders, they have significant experience with Android app development in a variety of contexts.

Once the initial feasibility was appraised, the team was expanded in 2015, to cover the remaining essential positions. We brought on marketing and communication experts with international experience, rich portfolios and demonstrated value; communication and relations experts with solid connections to the professional tennis circuit; experienced business advisors and mentors to help develop a business model and provide support in establishing a proper business vehicle for the project.

On TC’s team, no one's role is improvised and every position. Every position is held by people with the qualifications, know-how, and passion to do exactly what is asked of them.

And a special thanks to the Pisa University Sport Centre (CUS Pisa), the Dipartimento di Informatica (University of Pisa), the PhD+ team, Borderò Productions, Lisa Bellanti, Antonio Brogi, Antonio Cisternino, Giuseppe Di Luna, Paolo Ferragina, Ray Garcia, Vincenzo Gervasi, Laurette Gonzales, Rosario La Spina, Simona Laza, Pino Marcogliese, Sara Migliori, Gabriele Montelisciani, Linda Pagli, Simona Pucciarelli, Elisabetta Ullmann, Federico Vannelli and Simone Zenzaro.

Risks and challenges

As a team, we have the science and know-how right. To roll out a piece of innovative technology, a lot more needs to be done, to address the associated risks. We cover a large number of devices which vary widely in capabilities and hardware. One particular issue is the difference in accelerometers found in different makes of smartwatches. Because the system is based on data collected in the field, we need to account for the difference between the device used to collect the data from our side, and the one actually worn by the user. We address this by testing on various devices to find a normalizing function.

Another challenge is mapping localization using bluetooth transmitters. They normally only provide coarse proximity information, and it is not easy to translate this into accurate positioning. We know we can achieve coarse placement (e.g., identifying the court quadrant), and plan on addressing more accurate location by exploiting sophisticated algorithms and physical models to make the process more reliable.

We are a small team of talented individuals who rely on one another’s hard
work. We believe that our strength lies in our shared knowledge and skills and that we are more effective together than we are apart. Everyone pulls their own weight and we are committed to ensuring that the project gets done, no matter what obstacles get in our way. Period.

We have over 40 years of experience in software design and development among us. We've worked for both private companies and universities all over the world, and have already put years of passion and research into making sure this project is a success. We've also carefully planned our costs to be sure that each step of the project can be completed on time. If you would like to see Tennis Commander change the way you play tennis at a reasonable cost as much as we would, then pick your reward level now and we'll make it happen with you. Thanks for your support!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2 or more About US$ 2

    DROP SHOT

    Drop by and pledge $2! You’ll get a big thank you, and the satisfaction of a finesse move.

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    BASELINER

    Be a strong baseliner and provide the fundamental support: we will show our appreciation by giving to you the app for free, and by placing your name on the web Tennis Commander hall of fame! A good game is based on the fundamentals just like our success depends on you and your 5 bucks!

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    PASSING SHOT

    Pierce the opponent and make yourself stand out with your $15 pledge! It’ll be felt and recognized, the way a good passing shot is, with the app for free, your name placed on the web Tennis Commander hall of fame, PLUS the exclusive Tennis Commander sweat wristband.

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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    SLICE

    Consistent, reliable, and good both as a defensive and attacking weapon. We’ll make the most out of your $30, and you’ll get the app for free, your name placed on the web Tennis Commander hall of fame, the exclusive Tennis Commander sweat wristband, PLUS the TC headband.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    TOPSPIN

    Let your arm swing free and without fear, and spin us your $50! It’ll make the project safer from errors, incisive, and it’ll get you the app for free, your name placed on the web Tennis Commander hall of fame, the exclusive Tennis Commander sweat wristband, the TC headband, PLUS your choice of either the exclusive TC T-shirt, or the TC hat, or the TC personalised watch strap.

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    Pledge US$ 70 or more About US$ 70

    LOB

    Unexpected, crowd pleasing, and necessary means: your $70 will skyrocket TC, and we’ll show our gratitude by giving you the app for free, your name listed among the main contributors in the app credits, the exclusive Tennis Commander sweat wristband, the TC headband, your choice of either the exclusive TC T-shirt, or the TC hat, or the TC personalised watch strap, PLUS 2 bluetooth transmitters.

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    Pledge US$ 80 or more About US$ 80

    CROSS COURT

    Open up the rally, and show who’s in control: pledge $80, and it’ll really get things moving! This display of initiative will get you the app for free, your name listed among the main contributors in the app credits, the exclusive Tennis Commander sweat wristband, the TC headband, your choice of either the exclusive TC T-shirt, or the TC hat, or the TC personalised watch strap, 2 bluetooth transmitters, PLUS an exclusive signed photo of our biggest fan, Nicolas Mahut (2015 US Opens Doubles Champion).

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    DOWN THE LINE

    Only the best can sway the direction of the rally, and you can do it by pledging $100! It’s a winner, and it’ll win you the app for free, 2 bluetooth transmitters, and you will be listed as the main contributors in the app credits. Also, you will get an exclusive tennis ball signed by Nicolas.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    SERVE & VOLLEY

    The best ones don’t have to wait. Serve us your $150, and you’ll get back you will get an exclusive T-shirt signed by Nicolas to volley with as you like. Moreover, you will receive the app for free, 2 bluetooth transmitters, and you will be listed as the main contributors in the app credits.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    ACE

    No nonsense, quick, intimidating and crowd pleasing. Pledging $250 will get you the app for free, your name listed among the main contributors in the app credits, the exclusive Tennis Commander sweat wristband, the TC headband, your choice of either the exclusive TC T-shirt, or the TC hat, or the TC personalised watch strap, 2 bluetooth transmitters, PLUS the creation of a specific model tailored on your playing characteristics: you just send to us 1 hour of video of one of your training sessions, and we will do the rest.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    SMASH

    A good smash is simply definitive -- your $500 will also be, as far as support go, and not just for nothing! The athletic move will get you the app for free, your name listed among the main contributors in the app credits, the exclusive Tennis Commander sweat wristband, the TC headband, your choice of either the exclusive TC T-shirt, or the TC hat, or the TC personalised watch strap. THE FIRST 10 BACKERS of this pledge will also get one of the smartwatches used during the testing phase. This is not all: we will donate 50% of your pledge to Nicolas Mahut's favorite charity organization (www.reves.fr) -- with a very, very special thank you from us, Nicolas, and everyone else.

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    Pledge US$ 550 or more About US$ 550

    INSIDE OUT

    Show who's boss by avoiding the obvious: pledge us your strong $550, and weaken your opponent's resistence! This daring all-or-nothing shot shows everyone you mean business, and it will get you the app for free, your name listed among the main contributors in the app credits, the exclusive Tennis Commander sweat wristband, the TC headband, your choice of either the exclusive TC T-shirt, or the TC hat, or the TC personalised watch strap, 2 bluetooth transmitters, and one of the smartwatches used during the testing phase.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    GAME, SET & MATCH

    The best players up their game next to the goal line. Dare with $1000 and show the world you’re not afraid to win! Since people likes a winner, the reward is ample: an exclusive racquet signed by the 2015 US Open Doubles champion Nicolas Mahut, PLUS the app for free, your name listed among the main contributors in the app credits, the exclusive Tennis Commander sweat wristband, the TC headband, your choice of either the exclusive TC T-shirt, or the TC hat, or the TC personalised watch strap, and 2 bluetooth transmitters. Finally, we will create a specific model tailored on your playing characteristics (like in Reward ACE).

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    Pledge US$ 600 or more About US$ 600

    TWEENER

    You have a flair for style, you work hard but in the end want to show no hardship is hard enough to forego class: your game is art. That's why with this one-off move and your $600, your reward will be unique: an especially conceived piece of art from our team's favorire professional artist Francesco Zavattari! (http://www.zavattari.com/ -- see Rewards description for more details). Also, your name will be listed among the main contributors in the app credits.

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Funding period

- (29 days)