Developed by Singapore startup 9 Degrees Freedom, Qlipp offers insights into users’ speed, swing, ball spin and more, through real-time stroke and video analysis. The device, which attaches to the base of the racket’s head like a dampener, can also wirelessly pair with users’ smartphones to shoot video of their strokes, as well as connect to social networks, letting users share progress, organize matches with local players and let users compare their stats with those on Qlipp community leaderboards. As of this writing, the device has raised $27,137 from 292 people in 15 days.
Qlipp is the brainchild of 9 Degrees Freedom co-founder Donny Soh, who was working on a tennis virtual reality program for A*Star when he decided to create one for the real thing. Quoted in The Straits Times, Soh said,
We were collecting data, such as strokes and haptic feedback, for the virtual reality programme. And I thought why not use the data to improve the game of real players instead?
Soh then brought on co-founder Cen Lee, and the two have worked to gather playing data from players including tennis coaches and junior and national players, notes the Straits Times. The Indiegogo campaign offers this text regarding the current status of the sensor:
The QLIPP sensor is currently in the DVT (Design Verification Testing) Stage. This will ensure the manufacturing quality of your QLIPP sensor. After this stage we will be sending your QLIPP sensor for electronic certification (FCC and CE). What this means is we will be obtaining a license for this electronic product to be used in your geographical region. Once this certification is approved, your QLIPP sensor will be shipped immediately. In the meantime, you will also be provided with timely updates and will be kept posted of our progress.
Ironically, the two founders seem not to spend a great deal of time playing the sport themselves. Lee said,
Our investors are saying it is interesting that two guys who don’t really play tennis end up being on tennis courts all the time.
The Qlipp can be installed on any tennis racquet. And players’ feedback is that having the sensor on the handle (as in the case of tennis sensors Babolat and Zepp) hinders the way they play.
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