Interview with the co-founders of QLIPP™

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9 Degrees Freedom was founded in February 2012 by a pair of Singaporean researchers with a passion for innovative lifestyle sports technologies. Their first product, the ultimate tennis performance sensor QLIPP™, has recently emerged as a Digital Finalist in the ISPO BRANDNEW 2015. Co-founders Donny Soh and Cen Lee have sat down for an interview and shared about QLIPP’s progress and its prospective future.

1) How did you come up with the idea of QLIPP?

We were doing another project at that time, and we wanted to measure the data from a tennis racket and then put it in a virtual reality environment. We thought about being able to do the converse – measure the data, then use it to detect how good the strokes are. So that is how we thought we can use a sensor device to find out how good the performance is and to improve the performance. The sensor unit is in fact a generic unit which can be applied to different sports, that is why we called it the QLIPP Sports Technology, and the first vertical we are going into is tennis. We expect to go into different verticals like running, baseball etc. as well.

2) Were there any challenges faced during the process of developing QLIPP? What were they?

Hardware was one big challenge because we needed to make the hardware very stable and durable, so that it can be used in the outdoor environment and across very long distances. Our strength lies in data mining, so the problem was analysing the data in real time and making it responsive to the users.

3) How would you compare QLIPP against other sensors of its kind?

I think the biggest difference is the portability aspect, whereby the emphasis is being portable and being able to be applied to different verticals, so we don’t stress on just a particular sport alone, but in fact we try to make the sports sensor as generic as possible. We are also incorporating video analysis, so that it will give users very real feedback. We can also integrate into other devices, so we can accept third party sensor devices, such as heart rate monitors or temperature monitors. This will give QLIPP a more wholesome experience.

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4) Congratulations for being a finalist for the ISPO BRANDNEW 2015 competition! How did you feel when you first received this piece of good news?

We are glad that recognition is given to QLIPP after more than a year of R&D. The key thing is that it is not just the award, but moving on, how do we go about launching the product.

5) QLIPP headed to Munich in February for the ISPO Munich Trade Show. Was there anything special that was showcased there?

We held a demo at our booth, where there was a ball that players could hit and try out the device. Whenever the player hit the ball, he would be given feedback on how good or how bad the stroke was – and that was the main attention drawer for the crowd.

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6) Are there any exciting news we can expect from QLIPP in the near future?

We are going to ship! Our certifications will be done in June to July, and we plan to grab hold of the summer season in Europe. We are also having a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in June 2015. Next year, we are also probably joining the Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show, the biggest sports licensed products trade show in the US.

7) Moving forward, what will be QLIPP’s future plans?

We will be looking into different verticals. We also hope to open up our API, so we can connect it to different third party collaborators. We hope QLIPP can be a generic sensor that can be used for any application and different sports, and provide more meaningful data as well.

QLIPP™, THE ULTIMATE TENNIS PERFORMACE SENSOR, LAUNCHES AT ISPO BRANDNEW 2015

MUNICH, GERMANY, January 2015 – QLIPP™, the Ultimate Tennis Performance Sensor, makes its debut at ISPO BRANDNEW 2015 as a Digital Finalist. Weighing in at 8g and measuring only 30mm x 20mm, QLIPP™ is one of the most portable, lightest and smallest 3D motion tennis sensors in the market.

The sensor clips onto any tennis racket easily, and once mounted, a user just has to launch the QLIPP™ app (which will be available for both iOS and Android smartphones) to record video playback and track stats. It reports ball speed, sweet spot accuracy, and backhand, slice, and even overhand efforts. Players have the option to allow QLIPP™ to call out stats during a session with its voice feedback controls, or even take slow-motion video playback of every serve and stroke.

“We want to help tennis players up their game one stroke at a time with a performance sensor that truly gets the job done,” said Mr Cen Lee, co-founder of QLIPP™. Dr Donny Soh (PhD Data Mining, Imperial College, United Kingdom), co-founder of QLIPP™ also commented, “Our goal is to produce a tennis performance sensor with the best accuracy possible helping both players and coaches improve faster.”

Part of QLIPP™ technology was licensed from A*STAR, the largest governmental research agency in Singapore. QLIPP™ is supported by the Media Development Authority (MDA) Singapore.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

CLIP & PLAY

  • Lightest tennis performance sensor at 8g
  • Only sensor that allows you to easily attach to any tennis racket with a simple twist and lock
  • Doubles as a dampener
  • Record, playback and review every stroke in slow motion

MEASURE

  • Real-time feedback with voice control options
  • Analyze your game: Record every stroke and see detailed stats of your topspin, speed and sweet spot accuracy for every session
  • Save your stats to review your progress

COMPARE

  • See how your stats match up in the QLIPP™ community leaderboards
  • Organize matches with other players
  • Share your progress on social media

QLIPP™ will be available in the third quarter of 2015 and will retail at US$129 (suggested retail price). Currently, QLIPP™ is available for pre-order (US$99 early bird price) at www.qlipp.com

 

ABOUT 9 DEGREES FREEDOM

9 Degrees Freedom was founded in February 2012 by a pair of Singaporean researchers with a passion for innovative lifestyle sports technologies. Their first product, QLIPP™, has been presented at various international conferences, including DEMO Asia (Singapore) and DEMO Fall (Santa Clara). The company won a Bronze Award in Emerging Technologies from the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) Awards 2012 and a is a Digital Finalist at ISPO BRANDNEW 2015 for its work on QLIPP. 9 Degrees Freedom was incubated by Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), the 6th best Engineering and Technology University in Asia and 29th in the world. For more information, visit www.degrees9.com

ABOUT ISPO BRANDNEW

Since its first edition in the year 2000, ISPO BRANDNEW has established itself as the most important platform for start-ups in the sport industry. Every year an independent jury, largely consisting of former winners, name the Top 50 Newcomers, all of which are younger than four years. The winners then have the possibility to showcase themselves to the whole of the sport industry in the ISPO BRANDNEW Village in Hall A1 at ISPO MUNICH. This opportunity and numerous other forms of support are provided by ISPO to enable these Companies to get off to a successful start, past winners include GoPro, Maloja, On Running, Naish Sails und Nixon and many more. For more information, please go to: http://brandnew.ispo.com/en/

QLIPP™ begins tennis sensor trials, receives seed funding

QLIPP™ begins tennis sensor trials, receives seed funding

Singapore-based QLIPP™ has developed a performance based tracking device for tennis players keen to ace the game. The tiny 3 x 2 cm tracker mounts onto any racquet within seconds, and reports ball speed, sweet spot, backhand, slice, and even over hand efforts. Purely wireless, QLIPP™ does not require any configuration except user registration so that a performance profile can be generated.

Players have the option to let QLIPP™ aurally read stats after every stroke while engaged in a match. (imagine doing that with a Bluetooth earpiece). QLIPP™ expects this to be a boon to trainers managing teams for competitive matches as big data meets the Internet of Things (IoT).

Serious aficionados seeking superior game play will appreciate the ease of switching racquets, so they can react to the competition swiftly. QLIPP™ recently closed a six figure seed round, including an investment from Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), even as product development pushed past the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) phase.

QLIPP™ will be participating in the ISPO taking place in Munich in February 2015. Pre-orders are available at www.qlipp.com.

 

QLIPP™ Emerges as Finalist for ISPO BRANDNEW 2015

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QLIPP has emerged as a finalist in the ISPO BRANDNEW 2015 competition, which is also the world’s largest start-up platform in the sporting goods industry. Being shortlisted as one of the finalists in the Digital category out of a total of 431 brands that have participated in the competition this year, we are extremely delighted to receive this form of recognition from the jury.

QLIPP App

The idea behind QLIPP is to design a sensor to monitor and track the performance during a tennis match – down to each stroke and speed of the ball, at the same time providing minimal distraction to the game.

As such, we are also proud to announce that we are heading to Munich next month for the ISPO Munich Trade Show from 5th – 8th February, where we will present QLIPP to the public at the ISPO BRANDNEW Village. If you are going to be there, do remember to drop by our booth to have a try at our product before its official launch.

ISPO Munich 2015
Date: 5-8 February 2015
Time: 9AM – 6PM (5-7 February), 9AM – 5PM (8 February)
Venue: Munich Trade Fair Centre (Messe München), Munich, Germany
Booth: A140 BN52 (click for hall plan)

See you at ISPO 2015 in Munich!