Speedy Balls!

In the latest Shortlist, there is an article about the future of tennis. Specifically, it describes how “sporting fashionista” Lacoste has unveiled “its vision for tennis 75 years from now.” This so-called vision entails…

– a face mask, through which players can see the outline of a virtual tennis court
– tech-infused clothing, displaying OLED sponsorship
– rackets with super-strong magnetic strings, which will, apparently, “allow players to smash the ball at far greater speeds than the 153mph Andy Roddick world record”

But I wonder…

Firstly, will it really take three-quarters of a century for such relatively lo-tech advancements to materialise in professional tennis?

And secondly… will the “tennis community” really tolerate such a degree of technological intervention in a game which is, in essence, about a battle of physical strength, stamina, skill, etc? Of course, technology plays a part in sports, and will no doubt continue to do so to an increasing degree… but… do we really want to see what, if Lacoste have their way, will become more and more akin to a couple of robots bashing a ball at stupidly high speeds between them? Maybe we do… 😐

In which case…

Unless our future tennis players start wearing some kind of suit of armour, I don’t imagine it will be long before we witness the first “Death by Serve”!


2 comments on “Speedy Balls!

  1. Free to think, free to believe... says:

    But does this not allow to have a ‘virtual’ game of tennis ‘where’ the players don’t need to be in the same country [or even continent] and thus if we could have a ‘holo’ court we could even have spectators watching it – either in stadia like Wimledon where folk could still have strawberries and have to get up and spoil folks view on their way to the loo or perhaps one where we stick some headgear on and watch it in the comfort of our own homes (how to get sponsorship for that?) and with wifi could we wander around and not even stop watching it despite the fact we have gone to the loo?

    Just a thought, or two…

  2. pepsoid says:

    Well a *virtual* game of tennis is a whole different bag of balls (so to speak)… & one I think would be rather interesting! But I think it would be nice if that was kind of an “offshoot” of “real” tennis and “real” tennis remained *real*… d’ya’think??

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