Sci-Fi Ping-Pong Coach Will Make a Forrest Gump of You Yet

It’s not too late to qualify for the 2020 Olympic team

May 2, 2016 9:00 am

Ping-pong is a game. A game that you play in the basement with a beer in one hand while erroneously rallying for serve, alternating serves every five points and generally doing a bunch of illegal stuff.

Table tennis, on the other hand, is a sport (and an Olympic one at that). A sport that, with some intelligent training, you can kick all your friends’ asses at.

In service of that: German design student Thomas Mayer just created a pong table that can track, analyze and provide live visual feedback on your game to help you improve.

After collecting data, the table Mayer developed as part of his thesis project at the University of Design Schwaebisch Gmuend projects visual tutorials and targets onto the playing surface in order to change an individual’s playing style. Built with two Playstation CL-eye cameras, an HD projector and other high-tech wizardry, the table will also track a player’s high scores and collect other relevant metrics.

“The basic idea of my bachelor thesis was to track the ping-pong ball in realtime to create data visualizations for trainers and players,” Mayer says. “By projecting game obstacles on the surface I figured out that I can change the game play totally.”

Spin it to win it.

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