As you start to play more tennis matches, one of the most frustrating elements can be calling your own lines.
Not only do you have to concentrate on close calls, but you can easily miss out on winning points yourself if your opponent makes a mistake.
This can be incredibly frustrating and actually take a lot of fun out of the game.
There you are, wanting to have an enjoyable, competitive game and you are constantly thinking about whether you are calling your lines correctly or if your opponent could potentially be cheating you out of the match!
The question then becomes, how can you install a line calling device at a recreational level?
Traditional line calling infrastructure like Hawkeye or even a more accessible alternative such as Playsight can be very costly to install.
This is also not practical if you play tennis at multiple venues on a regular basis.
So, the real solution to your line calling problem should lie in a portable, accurate, device that can call a ball in or out for you.
Luckily, such a device exists! The aptly named “In/Out” portable tennis line judge seeks to take the stress out of making your own line calls, wherever you’re playing.
But, is this really the answer we’ve all been looking for, or is it just another tennis gimmick that is more hype than substance?
Well, we’re here to explain it all!
What is the In/Out Tennis Device?
The In/Out tennis device is a portable camera based line judge that is designed to give real time line calls for recreational tennis players the world over.
Currently in its 4th iteration, the In/Out device offers useful light and sound signalling so you and your opponent can easily recognise when a call is out.
What’s more, you can even use the In/Out to perform training exercises, record your matches in full HD and offer you stats and personalised analysis.
In/Out even touts itself as a ‘friendship saver’, meaning you can stop the endless arguments and controversies over line calls.
Whilst this may seem like a trivial point, it is crucial for maintaining the enjoyment of the game.
If you constantly question your hitting partner or friend’s line calls, this can actually discourage you from playing tennis as frequently.
The device is strapped on to the net post and records your tennis session, which gives it a unique and insightful angle for you to watch your strokes back from.
You can even use just one device per court if you want to cover multiple playing surfaces, but two devices per court (one on each net post) is recommended for the most accurate results.
One of the most attractive and useful features of the In/Out tennis device is that there is no setup required.
You simply strap the device on to the net post and you’re good to go! Data is processed instantly as no cellular data or wifi is required.
You can even export your stats to an excel document! This makes it easy for you to drill down into the details and really analyse your performance on court.
You can rate your tactics against different opponents and see how you have progressed over time with the rich statistics provided by the In/Out device.
How Does it Work?
The In/Out line judge system works by tracking your shots through its full HD cameras to determine the placement of the ball.
The new system also makes use of an additional line device that can be set up at the back and sides of the court for even more accuracy.
It uses an “IO 3 chip” in all devices to detect the ball movement and track its positioning relative to the lines on the court.
It is accurate to a matter of millimeters and will offer reliable and consistent line calls for you and your playing partners.
Should You Buy One?
This is the million dollar question…
We have established that the In/Out device is a portable and convenient way to call your lines on the tennis court, but is it really worth purchasing?
Well, at a price point starting at $275 it is very reasonable compared to a traditional line calling system.
There are a range of pricing options available if you want to add more features, such as multiple net devices or multiple line devices.
However, it is recommended that you use 2 net devices for optimum accuracy, which will set you back $549.
This is by no means cheap, so it is worth considering how much you will be using the devices before you decide to buy them.
With that being said, the number of features above and beyond simply calling the lines that the In/Out tennis device offers is impressive.
In/Out offers a smartphone app that can be used to quickly check line calls on your phone or smart watch, making this a truly portable and accessible device.
What’s more, you can even use the In/Out line calling device to analyse your game and receive coaching inputs based on artificial intelligence!
This works by the In/Out online coach offering you strategic recommendations based on your ball placement against all of your opponents.
This provides a rich insight into your game and how you can improve in a personalised and detailed way.
The machine records your rally length, serving statistics to both sides of the court, ball speed, net clearance and total number of shots played.
The device will even pinpoint your serve and return locations, winners and unforced errors, as well as suggesting tactical plays against certain opponents based on how efficiently you’ve won points against them previously!
This is where the device really comes into its own. You can drill down into the details of how you are playing and how you can improve your game.
This combines the best features of tennis smart sensors and expensive tennis line calling services in one easy to use, affordable and intuitive package.
The In/Out website also notes that 2 devices are required for doubles, so this is definitely the go to choice for players looking to get the most out of their purchase.
In/Out also offers a fixed net bracket option for tennis clubs.
This is very useful if you want a fixed point of contact for your device, that is robust and can be hit with a tennis ball at speed and not cause any damage to your digital line judge!
So, we believe that if you’re in the market for an affordable, reliable and consistent tennis line calling device, you should definitely give the In/Out machine a go.
Perhaps starting off with just one device could be a good option to understand if you really use what it has to offer, but there is a lot of value added with this product.
One of the only downsides that we can think of is that the machine will beep once and display a green light when the ball is in, which could become quite annoying and even distracting at times.
But, this aside the In/Out device is well worth trying out.
Overall, the In/Out tennis device is a great product that you should seriously consider purchasing if you are looking for a convenient way to outsource line calls on the tennis court.
There are a multitude of useful features that the In/Out device has to offer.
From online coaching, to recording your matches in HD, to calling your lines very accurately, there isn’t much this little machine can’t do!
Whilst it will certainly not give you as accurate results as a more traditional Hawkeye or Playsight set up, it is still a reasonably accurate and reliable device that will serve its purpose for the vast majority of recreational players.
It offers a lot more than we expected in terms of the online coaching and the smartphone app really takes the In/Out device to a whole new level.
It is well worth checking out their website and Youtube channel too, as there are a lot of useful information and instructional demos!
So, give the In/Out tennis device a go and resolve those long standing line call disputes!