Here’s a treat for Wimbledon fans! A Kickstarter project is working on a concept called HearO, which is essentially Bluetooth speakers, made using the retired tennis balls from the Championship matches. Richard Moss, the creator of this project thought about the hundreds of tennis balls that are just left over after a tournament ends.
To put it in perspective, in Wimbledon alone, Slazenger, a British sporting goods manufacturer, supplies about 55,000 balls each year. Taking into account the four Grand Slam Tournaments that happen year round, that brings the total to 230,000 tennis balls used in the tournaments. But the record number of tennis balls used in a single Wimbledon match is 124. So what happens to the rest of the hundreds and thousands of the balls? They retire.
HearO focuses on the untapped potential of a tennis ball after it retires. It has plans to bring in these retires tennis balls to your everyday life. The project fits in a useful tech into these balls, to convert them into portable Bluetooth speakers.
Below is a picture of a working prototype of HearO speakers made with tennis balls signed by Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals, London.
By encasing the audio system in the tennis ball, it serves as a protective skin for the electronics. The HearO features a speaker on one end of the sphere of the ball, and a button control on the other end. The single button, allows a user to power the speaker on and off and let you connect it to a smartphone, tablet or computer.
The speaker charges using a custom cradle with a 360-degree magnetic connection. Also, for optimum sound production, the speaker sports Fibonacci spiral grill pattern.