How many times have arguments erupted among your friends about who’s better at one thing or another? If your answer is “never,” then it’s a safe bet the sports-playing world is clueless to this utopia in which you live. The rest of us argue and haggle all in an effort to establish rank. Well, when the Pulse Play gets its funding on Indiegogo, it will put an end to that for racket sports worldwide. It’s already hit 75 percent of its $75,000 goal, and the campaign has 40 days left to go.
Presented by Grand Slam champ Andy Ram (say that five times fast) the Pulse Play is a water-resistant smart wristband that functions as your own worldwide tournament manager. By clicking its button, it tracks your score and displays it simply on both yours and your opponent’s wristbands, saving the final score for both players. It also acts as an announcer with over 50 voices, including Homer Simpson, Robert De Niro, Mr. Miyagi, Arnold Schwarzenegger, among many others – who knew Elvis was such a good ref? – to declare your triumph or shame to everyone within earshot of the court. Using Pulse Play means no more kvetching after games, or claiming there was a miscount, because Elvis already told you the facts.
Pulse Play also records your full match history, so bragging rights extend beyond the current game. Via the free app (for both iOS and Android) you can see how much better you’ve become over time. With that comes a ranking system for all Pulse Play wearers worldwide. You can connect to your broader community via the social networks to let your people know just how awesome you are, create personal groups, and search for opponents for your next match.
The company is offering a generous reward program for backers who refer their friends. Rewards include refunds and even Pulse Play units. Thankfully, the Pulse Play’s partnership with Small Factory Big Ideas (sFBI) may help ensure the wristband makes it to market in a timely fashion (forgive the pun).
The downsides are you’ll need an Internet connection for the device to work, since the wristbands ping the cloud to sync data between wristbands and upload the match history and ranking visible in the app. What’s more, both players (or both teams if you’re playing doubles) need to have wristbands.
The wristband itself comes in eight colors (blue, red, green, yellow, turquoise, black, white, and purple). The device charges via micro USB in about three hours, and one of the Indiegogo goals is to improve the Lithium Polymer battery’s life to 15 hours.
There’s other smart gear out there aimed at amateur tennis players, like the Zepp Tennis and Sony’s Smart Tennis Sensor, but they don’t have the argument-quashing functions of the Pulse Play. They are more like direct fitness trackers that monitor your motion and provide you with metrics to train you to improve your game. Further, the Pulse Play works for all kinds of racket sports, like badminton, squash and ping pong — in theory it could even work with beer pong, a game that definitely needs an objective scorekeeper. Oded Lavie, CCO at sFBI says, “we’re experimenting with building a pedometer…combined with the fact that Pulse Play is also a watch, we believe Pulse Play could be an all day wearable, not just for racket sports.”
Pulse Play could bring together the 300 million amateur racket sport players. The Indiegogo campaign is doing well. Hopefully backers will see this product in time for the 115 US Open starting the last day of August.