(Pocket-lint) - Whether you're a keen tennis player, a coach, or one of those people that turns into a tennis superfan as soon as it hits late spring, early summer, then the SwingVision app is one you'll want to download.
We sit in the latter camp. We love tennis but we don't play it all year round. Instead, we typically watch one of the big tournaments, like Wimbledon or Roland-Garros, and we remember how much we love the sport and how much we want to get our racket out and hit those delightful yellow balls across (or into) the net.
It doesn't matter if you're a beginner to tennis, or you fancy your chances against the wonderful Federer though because the SwingVision app will cater to all levels and there are so many excellent features that will help you improve your game.
Here's everything you need to know about SwingVision and what you need to get the most out of it to up your tennis game.
What is SwingVision AI?
The SwingVision AI app is a mobile app that works across a number of Apple devices, including the iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch with the ultimate aim of improving your tennis game.
The app was created in 2014 and it offers a number of excellent features, from challenging line calls with slow-motion replay, analysing shot stats from speed, depth, accuracy and rally length, creating video highlights and allowing you to filter them by certain shots like forehand or backhand, track match scores and statistics and measure your progress with weekly goals.
SwingVision AI also allows you to get personalised coaching after each session and compete against other users across the world based on the number of shots you've hit.
It's also the official Player & Ball Tracking app of Tennis Australia, LTA and ITA and it's backed by former ATP World Number 1 Andy Roddick and former ATP World Number 4 James Blake.
How does the SwingVision AI app work?
The SwingVision AI app is designed to replace what would once have been a very expensive ten-camera setup on court to track your tennis game and offer feedback and analysis.
Using either an iPad Pro, iPad Air (2022) or an iPhone mounted to the fence or on a tripod, SwingVision's proprietary artificial intelligence will use the cameras and chips within these devices to process your video and track shots in real-time with no internet connection required to do it.
The app's AI will not only be able to tell you the placement of the shot, but it will also be able to detail the shot type and speed. After you've finished playing, the video of your match or practice will allow you to see shot statistics and video highlights, which include point-by-point, or shot-by-shot. Amazingly, you can also filter the video to show you very specific shots, like only volleys that were in, or only overhead shots that were out.
Whilst playing, there is audio feedback that will announce scores and stats in real-time and it's also possible to challenge line calls in real-time, as well when you're playing a match. When challenging line calls, you'll be able to instantly see a slow motion replay of the shot, along with a decision of whether the ball is called in or out.
For those that have an Apple Watch too, the SwingVision app will use the accelerometer and gyroscope, together with algorithms, to calculate your swing speed from your wrist. You can also use Siri from your Apple Watch to start a tennis practice or match.
You set up a profile within the SwingVision app before you start - it's here where you will be able to review your sessions and measure your progress over time.
What do you need to get the most out of SwingVision?
You can film your practice or match with an iPad or an iPhone and you don't need an Apple Watch, but it will add to the experience if you have one, offering real-time stats on your wrist.
The iPad Pro (2021) has Wide and Ultra Wide camera lenses that give you a complete view of a court when placed on a tripod for an indoor court, or a fence mount when you're on an outdoor court. The latest iPhones offer wide and ultra wide lenses too, so these will also be able to film what you need.
You could also use an iPad Air (2022). Though it has a single lens, the 2022 Air runs on the M1 chip like the iPad Pro, meaning it still offers the processing power necessary to deliver the real-time statistics and analysis created by the SwingVision app.
If you use SwingVision on an Apple Watch, you'll see real-time feedback of the last shot you performed, along with the type of shot and speed. The data will also go towards closing your rings, and the faster you hit the ball, the further round the SwingVision speedometer goes.
What is the SwingVision AI app like and is it worth downloading?
We tried out the SwingVision app with an iPad Pro filming the practice and an Apple Watch Series 7 on our wrist - it needs to be on the wrist you hold the racket - and we loved the statistics we got at the end.
The video of the practice was great, allowing you to see each shot again, as well as slow down the playback to really help you see what you could have done better, or what you did really well. We can see this element being especially useful for coaches, enabling them to show their students what they could improve on or what they are doing well and what they should do more of, but it's great for individuals too.
What is great about the SwingVision app is the stats and analysis are presented in such a colourful way and user friendly way that they are enjoyable to look at, but also easy to understand. Our favourite part of the SwingVision app is by far the video filtering though.
It's brilliant that the app is able to - very quickly we might add - instantly show you the specific shots you've requested using the filtering system. You can select the stroke, spin, direction, shot type and result in the shot-by-shot analysis.
It means that if you just want to see cross court forehands that were hit in, the video will instantly cut together all those shots, whilst continuing to show you what type of stoke it was - like flat forehand - and how fast it was in the top corner when you're watching.
We learned that we probably won't be the next Roger Federer anytime soon, but the statistics and features the SwingVision app offers certainly made us want to keep trying to improve our game so who knows, maybe one day.