A global initiative to introduce squash to the ‘smartphone’ generation has been launched, following a new joint venture between Munich-based developer Fun with Balls GmbH and the world’s leading squash court manufacturer ASB.
In a common innovation, the interactiveSquash (in short iSquash) concept transforms standard squash courts into interactive training centres, iSquash uses regular squash equipment and a conventional court. The pioneering system is powered by a unique ball-tracking and projection system which transforms any regular squash court into a digitally-augmented playground or training facility.
The state-of-the-art invention provides a range of options – from simple games where images on the wall disappear when hit, to sophisticated coaching programmes designed for top professionals. An accompanying interactiveSquash smartphone app, used to select a training module – with access to a growing selection of games to training programmes. The app also lets players reserve and pay for court time on iSquash courts and other courts hosted at the same club.
Court-side, players can control which training module they play from their phones.
Games are designed to be as engaging as possible with multiple levels, lively graphics and sounds. The iSquash motto is to give league or professional players additional training options and create interest for a new and young generation of squash beginners!
Training programmes are designed to hone skills and techniques which are specific to competitive squash. Players will receive instant visual feedback and assessments on their performance.
The first iSquash facility has been unveiled at Sports4You in Munich which feature 10 squash courts. “We liked the idea of uniting the classic sport with the feeling of a video game,” said centre manager Chrissi Holzmann. “Moreover, we are convinced that this new generation of squash will attract more people to it. We’re excited to be part of this new development.
“Initially there were two very distinct reactions from visitors and members. The younger group were immediately excited by this upgrade and wanted to try it immediately. The older group was pretty sceptical, but quickly realized that the system still lets them play a proper game of good old fashioned squash. Also they became curious and have come to love some of the training modules the system has to offer”, Holzmann acknowledged.
interactiveSquash founder Markos Kern said: “We have taken the classic game of squash and given it an update for the 21st century. For me, the interesting part is that it gets people moving without even realizing the sports aspect of it. We focus on a very ease use – we don’t have different balls or different rackets. From professional squash players, through starters and to very small kids, anybody can have fun with it”, Kern added.
On Facebook, Egypt’s two-time World Champion Ramy Ashour posted: “The squash revolution … #Soon #staytuned”, while Germany’s world No.11 Simon Rösner said “I think it is amazing.”
The new interactive experience will draw new audiences to the squash court. It will provide a nice alternative to current players and a powerful training tool for professionals. Furthermore iSquash is a great way to get very young kids used to a squash court, even if they are not able to play yet.
For further information, please visit www.interactivesquash.com/
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