Tennis for visually impaired athletes is one the fastest growing sports in the contemporary scenario for popularity and fun. RESET is the direct answer to the thousands of specific needs that such entertaining and new activity requests. The entire project has involved exceptional experts in their own fields, from charities foundations to members from the International Blind Tennis Association (IBTA) as well as Inclusive sport development advisors and World Champion athletes. RESET has been designed throughout a series of tests with such incredible and talented people in a range of more than 15 hours with the players collecting their feedback and considering the positive impacts that such creations would have on sport and the individual’s life.
Metro Blind Sport, IBTA
RESET does not only enhance the full athlete's potential by providing an easy-to-track ball that increases the reactivity of the players from all the categories. It also aims to give a better understanding of the court’s spaces and the individual position thanks to passive vibrations which avoid the constant need for the players to rely on tactile lines.
After a couple of games I’ve played with some athletes, we noticed that they might get lost several times struggling to understand their own position on the court. This is something that gets better overtime, but for beginners it could result in falling on the net or the side benches. Together we worked on a series of iterations with the intention to provide passive and not disturbing feedback to the athletes while playing. In a first instance we thought to use proximity sensors from the net which in a way were able to let the players understand the level of depth from it and a general indication whether they were on the left or right hand side of the court.
We’ve then opted for bracelets and vibrations with really good patterns of intensity. Those devices are constantly communicating with a spinning laser single sensor placed next to one of the two poles of the tennis net. Through a series of conversations with the athletes I’ve understood that such ideas would have a good potential for the players to play in larger courts with more consciousness of the proper abilities and orientation. This will also increase the chances of a more dynamic rhythm on the court.