If all the action currently taking place at the US Open in Flushing Meadows has got you looking to up your game, then maybe it’s time to enlist a little AI help to you sharpen your tennis skills.
Loved by coaches, pros such as Andy Roddick and amateur players alike, SwingVision is a coaching app that works across and in combination with iPads, iPhones and Apple Watch to monitor and improve your technique.
Currently boasting more than 10,000 monthly users, the app makes use of AI tech and Apple's Neural Engine to replace what would have once been a prohibitively expensive multi-camera setup on court to track your game.
Setting up is simple enough. You’ll need an iPad Pro, a recent iPad Air or iPhone and be able to mount the device on a tripod, or if that’s not at hand, onto a fence.
The app then uses the cameras and built-in chips to video track shots in real-time and then deliver detailed personalised reports on your recent form and suggest areas of improvement.
Apple Watch adds even more analysis
If you have an Apple Watch, things get even more useful, with swing analysis measurements such as what kind of shot you’ve made and how fast you’ve hit the ball (along with its rotational speed) all taken from your wrist. Heart rate, calories, and distance moved stats are all also tracked.
Other handy features include audio feedback for scores and stats in real-time, while SwingVision AI is also able to make line calls, with the app having the ability to instantly call up a slow motion replay of a shot and determine if a ball should be called in or out.
Unsurprisingly you’ll need a well lit court for the tracking features to work, and the constant filming and measuring can quickly drain your iPad or iPhone battery.
To unlock all of its features there’s a hefty subscription cost of $12.49 per month for the app's Pro tier, but for many players that’s likely to be a small price to pay when considering the sort of match-winning improvements SwingVision is likely to provide.
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Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist.
He started out as a music writer in the late 1990s, before moving to the Daily Mirror to become the newspaper’s technology editor, during which time he wrote a weekly column that saw him chart the boom of consumer tech and gaming as well as the resurrection and rise of Apple Inc.
He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards.