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Originally created to foreshadow a future pairing with IBM’s watsonx.ai, we devised smart table tennis paddles that debuted at their “Calling the Shots” activation at SXSW.

Our creative technologists developed custom software and hardware to calculate serve speed, distinguish between forehand vs. backhand hits, and track general ball trajectory using custom sensor fusion techniques. We also created animations that represented a participant’s “real time game play”, as well as a post-game dashboard that kept track of stats from each game that participants played. 

After an appearance at the Red Hat Summit in Denver, the second phase of the project, now fully integrated with WatsonAi, was on display at the Think 2024 event in Boston and VivaTech in Paris. Now boasting improved swing and hit accuracy, it also enabled participants to have their game play narrated by different styles of AI generated commentators.

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