Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Feedback Tennis Racquet

Lets you know when you've hit the sweet spot.
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This tennis racquet has a small light-weight computer and power source (watch battery) built into the grip. Attached all around the outside of the head are sensors which detect increases in string tension each time you hit a ball.

With this information the built-in computer is able to determine where on the string bed the ball impacted, and determine whether or not you struck the ball with the 'sweet spot' (the area of the string bed that produces the best combination of feel and power). If so, the grip issues a small beep sound to let you know. Positive reinforcement.

(There are actually three sweet spots. This device reports on the most important one, the point on the string bed where the ball will rebound with the most speed.)

waugsqueke, Oct 02 2003

See about 2/3 down the list http://www.inventre...s.com/projects.html
[Ling, Dec 20 2004]

[link]






       <racquet> "Cherry!" </racquet>
Tiger Lily, Oct 02 2003
  

       Now if you could connect it to your tongue's sweet spot...
FarmerJohn, Oct 02 2003
  

       What would be the point? when the ball has hit the sweet spot - or not, it's too late to do anything about it. Why not design a racket that lets you know when the ball is approaching the sweet spot instead?
Avendra, Oct 02 2003
  

       The point is 'feedback' - to tell you you've accomplished what you are trying to do. If it is not beeping, you know you aren't getting it right.
waugsqueke, Oct 02 2003
  

       Wouldn't the ball going where you want it to be feedback enough?
Avendra, Oct 02 2003
  

       That doesn't tell you that you hit the sweet spot.
waugsqueke, Oct 02 2003
  

       Perhaps this racquet could also download to your PDA and display various graphs and stats such as number of consecutive sweet spots hit, degrees of deviation from sweet spot, overall peak of your game, etc. (croissant from earlier)
Tiger Lily, Oct 02 2003
  

      

Bliss...I would like a random chocolate dispenser—completely random, any time of the day—except I wouldn’t be told it was random. Then my brain would generate plausible theories as to what was required to a get a chocolate. Once I’d been trained that way, with random stimuli, then I could get a job as a stockbroker...or the president of a large corporation.
pluterday, Oct 02 2003
  

       Hmmmm...feedback... so far positive ones (beep, choc's etc), howabout negative feedback tho? Perhaps the racquet should beat you in the head every time you dont hit the sweet spot?
rumbletumbler, Oct 02 2003
  

       + Then you could have the computers change the give of the racquet strings depending on where the ball hit so you can have a larger sweet spot. :)
sartep, Oct 03 2003
  

       Rumbletumbler, your idea is actually punishment. Negative feedback would be a constant beeping which annoys the player until he/she hits the sweet spot, thus stopping the intrusive noise, for a moment. Then it starts up again until the sweetspot is again activated. The positive reinforcement already occurs though. If you hit a regular racquet in the sweetspot, it makes a distinctive sound, versus the off-sounding twang of a corner or low/high strike of the string face.   

       My idea of effective feedback would be a hot, young girl with a bag full of licorice at court side. If I hit a nice shot and she likes it, she could quickly run over to me after the point and spank me with the red candy.   

       hmmmmm, c a n d y y y y ! ! !
VuDuBlade, Oct 03 2003
  

       If I remember right, there is a satifying sound and feel when the ball comes off the sweet spot.
I would expect that a fast fourier analysis of the frequencies might reveal a difference in vibration level and frequencies.
Of course, that kind of computing power on a tennis racquet, even in this marvellous age, may be a little far-fetched.
But why not filter & amplify the sound of the strings (guitar-like?) and let the listener determine the rest? After all, the ear is very good at that sort of thing.
Ling, Dec 20 2004
  
      
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