SwingVison is the tennis stroke tracking app that calls out the lines in slow motion


Swupnil Sahai and Richard Hsu were high school tennis players who became roommates at UC Berkeley ten years ago. They bonded with sports before pursuing a career in STEM. Hsu won a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford before working on LinkedIn and then at am Bootstrapping AI-based software acquired by Cisco. Sahai, meanwhile, earned a doctorate. in Columbia statistics and then worked at Tesla in its autonomous driving division.

These complementary careers in technology and the unifying love of tennis come together Sahaï and Hsu on their own startup, SwingVision, which uses a single iPhone or iPad camera to track shots, tag and cut videos, and provide automated line calls.

the product graduated from Techstars SportsTech Melbourne Accelerator, has been featured in several Apple keynotes and commercials and has become the official ball tracking app of three major organizations: Tennis Australia, the UK Lawn Tennis Association and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. SwingVision also closed a $ 2million funding round led by Tennis Australia that includes support from retired tennis stars Andy Roddick and James Blake, as well as MyFitnessPal co-founders Albert and Mike Lee and old Strava and the current reception base Chief Financial Officer Jason Liu.

SwingVision quantifies shot placement, automatically displays video highlights, offers instructional tips, and even syncs with an Apple Watch for magnified slow-motion replays of close calls.

At Tesla, Sahai worked on tracking objects from a single camera, even filing some patents related to the technology.

“This is where the spark came in because I was working on all these algorithms to track pedestrians and vehicles around the car using the camera” Sahai said, “and so I was like, ‘Well, why can’t they use something like that to track the tennis ball?’ And there was basically nothing to do at the consumer level. “

Hawk-Eye has a proven track record as an appeal arbiter at the Grand Slam level, but their corporate system is too expensive even for some professional tournaments. PlaySight is more affordable for tennis clubs and college programs, but not accessible from lower levelsincluding the millions of amateur players.

SwingVision succeeds because of its simplicity. A player simply needs to hook up an iOS device behind the baseline, at least five feet in the air, and press registration. The app can provide data like shot speed, location trends and precision score for forehands, backhands and serves. It can measure a shot proximity to the end line and sidelines and aAlso calculate the distance traveled by a player during a match.

A popular feature, according to Sahai, is the modified playback of a match. TThe time spent collecting balls and drinking water is eliminated, and a two-hour game can be condensed to 20 minutes. Players can also automatically filter out highlights, such as “all rallies of five or more moves”.

“From a tennis perspective, we are rich in teaching, little in return,” says Machar Reid, Tennis Australia innovation manager. “We haven’t been short of content that’s out there online, in books – you name it – for the last century that tells you how to hit a forehand, how it hits a backhand, but being able to provide feedback. at your own game, for the most part you rely on a coach, don’t you? “

SwingVision is the first investment for recently launched Tennis Australia Generic companies funds and follows prior agreement to distribute the application to the coaches of the association. Reid says players of all skill levels, from “young children to Ash Barty,” the world’s No. 1 girls, can benefit. Even the pros, for example, suffer from a real lack of information and analysis not only when training but also during competitions.

“Something James told me,” Sahai said of Blake, a former world number 4, “that surprised me but made sense is [that] apart from the matches they play on center court, they have no data.

Those who wear an Apple Watch have access to additional features such as a wristworn-out line challenge, requiring only one tap to view a zoomed-in slow motion replay on the ball. (Where the net obscures the lines on the other side of the field, the app calculates its landing point based on sophisticated algorithms and a large database of fire trajectories).

“For very close calls, it’s already more accurate than gamers because the phone is recording at 60 frames per second,” says Sahai, who is CEO with Hsu as CTO. “Typically, humans see at about 24 frames per second. So, it is to see with a better fidelity than a human can do it.

SwingVision posts immediate reviews, logs the score, and even helps the pros improve.

SwingVision posts immediate reviews, logs the score, and even helps the pros improve.

Sahai admits the app isn’t accurate enough to replicate Hawk-Eye Live’s real-time line calling for tournaments corn hope to be there next year. He says professional linesmen have an average accuracy of 92% on shots that land within 10 centimeters of a boundary line, so the goal is to exceed that benchmark while still registering an accuracy of close to 100. % on all other shots. A live scoring app – with an automated referee announcing every point – is also underway to bring “that Grand Slam experience” to all players, Sahai says.

“It’s something that PlaySight tried to tackle in a really infrastructure-laden way, but if you’re able to do it in a more scalable way, we’re like, damn it, you’re tackling a real problem for the sport, ”said Reid.

SwingVision is, in many ways, a soul mate Reception courtyardfor tennis rather than basketball and football, because both some products are sports tracking apps that only require a single Apple device to receive AI-edited data and video clips. For now, SwingVision requires Apple’s A13 (or newer) processing chip, but Sahai believes Samsung and Google phones will soon match that capability.

“It only works on the latest iPhones because the hardware has become very advanced on the Apple side,” he says. “They call it the neural motor. It’s basically a chip specially designed for AI processing, so we do all the processing on the device. “

Players, so, To do not need internet access to use SwingVision. Videos can be uploaded to the cloud for storage later after connecting to Wireless, but the the application works even in a dead zone.

Tennis Australia also believes the app can be a useful tool in attracting and retaining new players into the sport who not can afford to hire a coach, are intrigued by data-rich sports, or might be put off by contentious phone calls by players in amateur matches. Part of the appeal, says Reid, “is the aspect of building the community as a whole and trying to almost carve out a new consumer in tennis. I think there is an opportunity and a market. in there.

The addition of Roddick and Blake as investors was, in part, fortuitous. Sahai played high school tennis with John Lamble, who went on to play on the ATP Tour. and worked with David Clarke, a physio who developed CrampsAway– who used Blake as the face of the product. Blake invested first, then introduced the SwingVision team to Roddick in an exhibition game in Texas.

Roddick was duly impressed with the app and, Sahai says, also grateful for helping him find his phone before he had to catch a flight. Blake tried to call Roddick, but the phone was cutAt that time, Sahai introduced him to the “Find my iPhone” feature.

After picking up his device, Roddick jokingly offered a five-figure Venmo payment on the spot.

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