Hawk-Eye Tennis technology was introduced to tennis in 2002 as an innovative solution for players and fans. The need for official confirmation, player accountability and an understanding of the movement that underpins the greats in the game evolved from a want to a need. So in an effort to increase appreciation for the nuances of games played at such amazing speeds, technology emerged to slow performances down for us mere mortals to savor the sublime.
Gamesmanship, Flopping & ‘You Can’t be Serious’ Bad Line Calls
Sports are entertainment, no doubt about it. While fans prefer to debate and argue the immaculate reception or tuck rule, no athlete or coach wants to leave an outcome to chance or cede ‘control’ to a biased 3rd party. So when the results are influenced, or worse yet, directly affected by a bad line call, soccer players flopping as if they were up for a Golden Raspberry Award, and gamesmanship trumping sportsmanship the integrity of competition is called into play.
Enter Hawk Eye tennis with electronic line calling that removes the doubt from close line calls with sophisticated ball tracking cameras that offer In or out isn’t a finger in the air. A line judge barking. If in doubt, go to the replay. Hawk-Eye technology delivers instant video replays to help even the most vision-impaired eyeballs with ‘backup’ when decisions on foot faults or line calls mean the difference between winning or losing.
How Hawke Eye Tennis Works
Similar to the introduction of instant replay, the novel solution has become a part of the fan experience. So much so that fans at the match clap in anticipation of the outcome displayed on the ‘big screen’. And fans at home debate the call.
Hawk-Eye accomplishes this with 3 or 4 automated tracking cameras following a player on the court. One operator oversees the cameras while proprietary software creates graphics and replays from a companion laptop. Doing so maximizes court coverage during each match and ensures the integrity of the collected data.
‘The best thing to happen in tennis is Hawk Eye’Goran Ivanisevic
That data can then be repurposed for the aficionado out there. The Hawk Eye tennis simulator lets fans experience what their serve would look like against the world’s best. And even ‘play’ on some of the most iconic tennis courts in the world. The immersive game-like experience amplifies fan engagement to create an appreciation for the feats of power and skills the worlds best bring to the game.
And to encourage the next generation, engage a former athlete, or empower a coach – a reactive SMART Tennis coaching system has evolved to enable technologically advanced high-performance coaching. Imagine ball-tracking technology coupled with high-speed biomechanical analysis for an unprecedented level of data generated from the game within the match. A system capable of creating in-depth analysis of individual strokes, rallies and match play via a customized, user-friendly dashboard.
So the pros can use it…What about the ‘joes’?
Expensive, right? Hawk-Eye must only be available to the top 1% of players and tournaments. Perhaps, but lucky for the rest of us, technology startups today typically attempt to address the other 99%. And computer vision at its core is an open-source technology. Enter three lower-priced alternatives to the court.
The most expensive and ‘permanent’ solution, Playsight is
a SmartCourt connected camera system powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and the latest in machine learning technology. By installing cameras around courts, fields, gyms and rinks, we make these sports facilities ‘Smart.’
Track Tennis comes by way of the TechStars incubator. Their team uses a more affordable single camera system to ‘automatically capture key match moments and generates customized video clip that can be shared with friends on social media’
And the lowest priced alternative is also a portable solution. In Out Tennis is in their own words a ‘Friendship saver. Don’t argue any more with your friends. Use In/Out to get real-time line calling!’