Hydrogen Sports Introduces the Proton – Most Advanced Portable Tennis Ball Machine
Developed by a Former Apple Engineer, the Smartest, Smallest, Highest Performing Tennis Ball Machine is Available for Pre-Order
By: Hydrogen Sports
Hydrogen Sports spent three years developing the new tennis practice machine. Weighing just 17 pounds (8 kg), the Proton is the size of a small carry-on suitcase, and can match the top speed of any portable machine – up to 70 miles per hour – with topspin or backspin of up to 3000 rpm, comparable to top pros. Every shot can be individually specified for spin, speed, location, and timing. The Proton app comes with over 10 built-in practice routines for fitness, footwork, stroke development, and game situations, and users can easily create their own practice programs.
"After leaving Apple four years ago, I bought a ball machine to work on my game and was disappointed in how primitive and heavy the machines were," said Jonah Harley, founder and CEO of Hydrogen Sports. "Technology has advanced so much since these machines were designed in the 1980s, especially in motors, batteries and our access to smartphones. Leveraging state of the art technology, we were able to design a machine from the ground up that dramatically improves the experience and portability of the tennis ball machine."
The Proton offers a high-performance, easy-to-use tennis ball machine designed for every user – from professional to beginner. Additional features include:
- Quick start mode – Designed with digital motion control, calibration is rarely needed, so the first ball is ready to play; select from beginner, intermediate and advanced modes to get a rally-ready sequence with just one touch
- Built-in practice routines – Pre-made practice routines offer shot sequences for basic rallying, cardio workouts, or specific drills such as approach and volley; virtually unlimited training programs can be added
- Coach mode – Instructors can work next to their students and feed balls one shot at a time, pre-loaded into the firing chamber for shots on-demand
- Automatic shutdown – Sensors detect when the hopper is empty and shut down to save power
- Quick-change battery – Offers a lightweight, quick-swap lithium ion battery pack; shoots 1,000 balls on a single charge
- High performance motors – Advanced drone motors spin the launch wheels faster than any portable machine on the market for class-leading speed and spin; active braking allows rapid change of spin and speed for highly realistic practice routines
- Precision motion control – Digital stepper motors aim the shots vertically and horizontally with better than 0.1 degree resolution
- Digital control panel – Designed to be used with a smartphone interface, it can also be controlled like a conventional machine with a digital input knob to set speed, spin, altitude, width for a two-line drill, and delay, all displayed with highly visible LEDs and computer controlled to exact values
- Shot Indicator – A high-brightness LED indicates when the next ball is coming; easily visible across the court, even in bright sunlight; it will also show when the machine is out of balls
- Compact hopper – The ball hopper collapses for easy storage and unfolds to hold up to 100 balls
- Removable strap – Includes a strap to carry the lightweight machine; functions as both a strap and a handle and can be easily removed for shooting balls
Pricing and Availability
The Proton is now available for pre-order in limited early-bird quantities at $1,195, and is projected to ship in the summer of 2020 for $1,595. To see a video of the Proton in action, visit https://vimeo.com/
About Hydrogen Sports
Hydrogen Sports was founded in 2016 by Jonah Harley, former Apple senior manager and inventor of the Apple Pencil. He spent nearly a decade at Apple leading engineering teams that designed and shipped products in the hundreds of millions. Harley has been playing tennis for over 30 years, has degrees from Stanford, UC Berkeley and Caltech, and over 50 granted patents.