A portable tennis machine that is operated by a smartphone Proton achieves retail availability

Hydrogen Sports, a startup company based in the Bay Area, has announced that they have successfully completed all pre-order purchases of their transportable tennis ball machine called Proton. They currently only have a limited amount available for sale at retail locations.

This device is distinguished from others on the market by its small size and the ability to be operated through a smartphone. When we initially wrote about it, it had been over two years. At the time, the plan called for the first production to be finished one year later than originally planned. However, they have needed twice as much time in order to accomplish their objective.

Proton is approximately one-half the size of a regular tennis ball machine and took around five years to develop (15 inches by 17 inches by 9 inches). Its dimensions are presumably comparable to those of a carry-on bag of average size. The device weighs only 8 kg in total, which includes the battery, making it one of the lightest products available.

Proton is able to launch balls in your straight path at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour and a maximum spin of 3000 revolutions per minute, both of which are comparable to those of full-sized machines. There is room for one hundred tennis balls in this racket.

In addition to its compact size, the most innovative feature of the Proton is its sophisticated controls. You may specify the spin, speed, position, and timing of shoots by using the accompanying smartphone app. Alternately, you may press the location on the screen where you want the orb to travel and let the app’s specialised algorithms handle the rest.

In addition to this, several practice routines are already incorporated. This encompasses everything from basic footwork to the development of specific strokes as well as game scenarios.

“After leaving Apple four years ago, I bought a ball device to work on my play and was unimpressed in how primitive and heavy the machines were,” said Jonah Harley, founder and CEO of Hydrogen Sports, when the product was announced in 2019. “I wanted to work on my play and was disappointed in how bulky the machines were.”

Since these machines were created in the 1980s, there has been a significant advancement in technology, particularly in the areas of motors, batteries, and our access to cellphones. We were able to develop a machine from the bottom up that substantially enhances the experience and mobility of the tennis ball machine by utilizing state-of-the-art technologies.

The device is somewhat analogous to something called a Slinger, which is a transportable tennis ball launcher that takes the form of a tennis bag. Several years ago, the gadget received more than $1.6 million in funding from backers on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. That particular product has been available to customers for some time at this point. 

In the evaluation that we did in the year 2020, we discovered that the Slinger works well, has a fantastic design, is capable of holding a large number of tennis balls, and can have its settings modified to accommodate players of varying skill levels.

Both the Proton and the Slinger weigh around the same and have dimensions that are comparable, making them suitable for portability. But it can only reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, and it does not have controls that are as sophisticated as those found on smartphone apps. However, it is a lot less expensive and has a superior appearance.

At this time, Proton is only offered to customers in the 48 contiguous states of the United States. Over the next couple of weeks, the operation will be adding additional machines on a weekly basis. It is anticipated that a larger supply will arrive towards the end of November.

On hydrogensports.com, purchasing one of them will set you back USD 1,595. Although this may sound like a lot (and it is), it is really far less than the price of full-sized ball machines. You may also look at Slinger, which does a significant portion of the same functions but costs roughly fifty per cent less.

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