Smart Dampener by Courtmatics Out Soon

Courtmatics New Smart DampenerOver a year ago GT wrote about Smart Dampener by Courtmatics. The Smart Dampener was due for release late last year but the trail went cold. It’s taken a while (over a year in fact) but the Smart Dampener is about to become a reality. Pre-sale of the product is now scheduled for late November and shipping of the first batch in February, 2018.

We should stress at the outset, we haven’t tested the Smart Dampener. We’ll be endeavouring to do so in the future.

What is Smart Dampener?

Smart Dampener is the second sensor of its type. Instead of sitting on (or in) the handle of the racket, it sits in the string bed a la Qlipp. It weighs in at a nifty 0.21oz (6 and a bit grams). That’s a couple of grams less than Qlipp although still double the weight of your average dampener.

The Smart Dampener looks to have a far easier attachment system compared to Qlipp. It fits the racket much like a traditional dampener rather than having the bulk of the device protruding from one side of the string bed.

Smart Dampener Analytics

Smart DampenerWhile not completely clear, it seems the device will measure the usual suite of statistics: stroke identification, ball speed, heat map etc.

Where it gets interesting is that it will, according to its founders, display other metrics: serve wrist snap, racket preparation and even percentage of time split stepping and other footwork metrics. It’s exciting although we’re puzzled on the footwork elements coming from a string bed sensor.

It also claims to measure the tension of your strings and advise when they need to be cut and replaced.

The dearth of available information and images suggests that the app will show averages rather than shot-by-shot analysis. There’s also no mention of video recording features.

We’re keeping an open mind.

Other Details

Courtmatics suggests the battery will last up to 5 hours. The device appears to have internal memory. Unlike Qlipp, it will, therefore, record a hit session or match and upload to the app later, negating the need to have a phone or tablet nearby.

We’ve seen no evidence that Smart Dampener has been approved by the ITF for matchplay.

Smart Dampener is available for pre-sale on a first come, first served basis from 29th November. The first delivery of the product will be in February, 2018.

Smart Dampener will retail for $99USD, matching the price of the new Zepp 2 Tennis Sensor. From everything we’re hearing, however, it’s going to be targeted at player improvement rather than just player sharing.

13 Replies to "Smart Dampener by Courtmatics Out Soon"

  • Steg
    January 25, 2018 (7:49 am)
    Reply

    Any news on the soon to be released Babolat New Pulse tennis sensor ?

    • Nick
      Nick
      January 25, 2018 (8:06 am)
      Reply

      Hi,

      Replied to your question when you posted it in the Zepp 2 review:

      The best information we have is September this year. I’d suggest they’re trying to get it ready in time for the US hard court season and US Open so maybe look out for August. Wish it was sooner, but that’s all we have at the moment.

  • Jon
    April 9, 2018 (12:11 am)
    Reply

    Any commentary on the new Courtmatics? How long do you think before we get a review. They have created some very heavy expectations. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

    • Nick
      Nick
      April 9, 2018 (1:27 am)
      Reply

      We’d love to know what we think too. We were advised a sample or two would be on our desk in January or February. Alas, nothing yet. We’ll chase Courtmatics in the next few days and advise.

      • Nick
        Nick
        May 1, 2018 (3:23 am)
        Reply

        Still no luck with responses our end and there aren’t too many reviews out there which is unusual. We’ll keep plugging away.

  • Mika
    April 19, 2018 (12:19 pm)
    Reply

    I got mine yesterday. Just did some serving and hand-fed balls. Worked fine, the stats (presentation of stats) is not… what I’m used to using the Sony Sensor. However, based on 1 hour of training on my own, the Courmatics sensor seems promising.

    • Nick
      Nick
      April 20, 2018 (2:50 am)
      Reply

      Thanks for the feedback Mika. Love to hear further updates from you when you’ve used it under training or match conditions.

  • Mika
    April 22, 2018 (9:41 pm)
    Reply

    I posted this to another forum, but just in case…
    Before anything else I have to mention that I’ve been using the Sony Smart Tennis sensor for couple of years and quarter of a million strikes. Now the only functioning Sony I have seems to be losing its battery and I need turn somewhere else to record the hard numbers from my matches and trainings. So that’s where I’m coming from and the Sony Sensor sets my reference point. I’ve also tried the Zepp products but the user software just doesn’t provide enough data and I’ve also been hugely disappointed in the inaccuracy the Qlipp -sensor. Although I think that their software rules and maybe even beats the Sony Smart Sensor software. However, if my forehands are interpreted as backhands for majority of strikes it really doesn’t make a good product.

    Anywhoo, I got my Courtmatics Smart Dampener couple of days ago and I’ve took it to the court a couple of times.

    The impression thus far can be summarized as “Meh.”.

    The guys and gals at Courtmatics have succeeded in putting together a decent device. You install it to the stringbed as you would an ordinary dampener. Takes a little bit of finger power to manage but it gets there. The first impression is that it would be extremely hard to get it fly out of the stringbed. Haven’t done it so far and do not expect to do it in normal matchplat or training.
    The product is called Courtmatics Smart Dampener. Having used regular dampenets before I have to say that the sensor does not _dampen_ at all. The sound and feel is significantly changed from a regular dampener but I guess you can’t make an omelet without breaking the eggs.

    Pairing the device with iOS-device is relatively straightforward. There’s a very brief manual included in the box and some videos available to show through the initial steps. And with a couple of tries the dampener and the iPad are couplöed over Bluetooth. After the gameplay you need to sync the stats to your iPad and this also works quite nicely.

    Battery seems to last just about 2,5 hours and that’s pretty much the same amount I can last on the court so I guess it’s enough. Although I did get the impression from the marketing hype that it would last a bit longer.

    After the data is synced you get to review your stats. The stats for strikes seem to be quite accurate. The dampener distinguishes between groudstrokes (FH&BH), volleys (FH&BH), and serves. The stats presented in the app show you for groudnstrokes the count, the type (top spin, flat, slice), average power (in mph/kmh) and some %-data like top spin intensity, sweet spot, racquet preparation and follow through. For volleys there is the count, split step-%, take back and follow through. For serves there is count, type (flat, slice, kick), the average serve speed in mph/kmh and racquet head acceleration in mph/kmh(!!!). Acceleration in my physics classes was defined as m/s^2 and here it’s m/s, but maybe it’s just me. For serves there are offered %-stats for sweet spot, wrist snap and follow through.

    There are also a number of other stats relating to movement in court, rally lenghths etc. I found these a little inaccurate or at least hard to interpret.

    Overall, the sensor seems to be fine. For the stats that I could compare with some other system (Sony, Zenniz, video recordings) they seem to be relatively accurate. However, the presentation of the stats in the accompanying app leaves reaaally a lot to be hoped for. The hard stats are not there, not at least as much as I would like to see them and there are a lot of “vague” stats that really leave me just baffled and wondering how I should apply the stats to my training (to improve). YMMV, and maybe it’s just me. Nevertheless, the app is something that can be improved and I really hope that Courtmatics will focus on this in the future.

    On the scale of Don’t buy —– Must buy, this lands somewhere around buy if you want to, but do not expect too much. The app feel is not at the level of Sony Smart Sensor. Not yet, at least.

    • Nick
      Nick
      April 23, 2018 (2:40 am)
      Reply

      Thanks again for your feedback Mika.

      We’ll be in touch again soon.

  • Jon
    May 3, 2018 (11:38 pm)
    Reply

    My feeling about the Courtmatics is roughly the same as Mika. There is not a lot I can add to their review. I feel like it could morph into something more useful as the software/firmware matures.

    • Nick
      Nick
      May 8, 2018 (12:22 am)
      Reply

      Thanks Jon

  • Aaron
    May 9, 2018 (4:21 am)
    Reply

    Same here as well on the Courtmatics. It definitely does not dampen, that is for sure 🙂

    While it was functional, I found that the feedback in terms of the LEDs left a lot to be desired. It was extremely unclear which state the device was in. The Sony multi-colored LEDs was a much better approach. A bit surprising that they did not at least have a dash of color to help make things simple.

    The Bluetooth pairing was rough but then again, most Bluetooth things can be a bit grumbly. I would definitely say more difficult than the Zepp or Sony. Troubleshooting link led back to their site with no specific FAQ or help in terms of videos or assistance. A quick phone restart cleared up things but the pairing process felt unnecessarily tedious.

    One issue that bugged me was that time is based on when you import it, not necessarily when you played / recorded a session. That could be really rough if you forgot to sync until the next day.

    The footwork feature was cute but I am not sure I totally bought it.

    Would definitely put this in the wait and see category to see if they can bring the app along further.

    • Nick
      Nick
      May 9, 2018 (4:41 am)
      Reply

      Thanks Aaron. That’s several with the same opinion on GT. While we’re yet to form our own (it’s always frustrating – and a tad suspicious – when the email trail goes quiet), there seems to be a common thread.

      Thanks again,
      Nick


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