I fondly remember how as a child, I would spend countless hours, on the beach, in a park or a mate’s backyard, whacking a tennis ball to and fro, playing totem tennis.
As repetitious as this game was, it certainly got our blood pumping, and some days it was our only outdoor activity.
I can also remember the difficulty in trying to keep score. Somehow the bigger kids all seemed to know that, and they consistently scored more, and of course, they would always win.
Now, in the hi-tech twenty-first century, it seems that that type of energetic activity is no longer high on the agenda for children and adults. Unfortunately, for many it appears that the active vigor of a healthy ball game has been replaced with the skill of the lightning-speed movements of their thumbs required to play digital games.
In 2021, Melbourne made world headlines during the Australian Tennis Open because of the Covid19 LOCKdowns. During this time, the competitors were confined to their hotel rooms, and everyone was shocked to see that they were forced to train by themselves, volleying against their hotel room walls.
Shocked by this situation, Melbourne Industrial designer and tennis enthusiast Dean Holmes saw that these restrictions presented a unique challenge requiring an inventive solution. Realising that although they were mildly active, being alone hitting a ball against their hotel room wall was not good enough. So he set out to reinvent a game that is now about to change everything.
Combining the active pace of popular totem tennis with the excitement of competition that can be indisputably measured, he has made a perfect product for our digital age.
The game he invented is TAKTIK TENNIS™, and it takes what was once just a ‘ball whacking game’ into the twenty-first century. It now gives players of all ages and skill levels the ability to measure their performance and set goals to train by
“Digital Detox, Kids Unplugged or Screen Time Pause are familiar phrases every parent recognises in relation to their children’s constant involvement with technology,” said Dean as he slammed a forward hand return.
“It is well documented that we all spend far too much time in front of digital devices, and this is having a profound impact on our physical and mental well-being… but that does not mean we can’t work with this phenomenon to create meaningful and worthwhile experiences that are beneficial and most of all fun,” says Dean as he continues his aggressive volley.
“That is where TAKTIK TENNIS™ comes in. It is designed to get you off the couch to engage in a physical activity that is compulsive, healthy, skill-based and fun.”
By reinventing the limited game of totem tennis into a hi-tech activity like no other, Dean and the team at UNO Australia have enabled players to get their digital adrenalin rush while, at the same time, getting up off their ‘seats’ and actively moving their bodies.
The interaction starts as soon as they commence playing. Players and spectators become even more engaged once they create a leaderboard, compare scores, measure their forehand and backhand hit speed, count the number of hits per minute, and time the length of each game.
All this is done with the convenience of an App that can be displayed on their phone or projected onto a big screen. They have plans to expand the App so it is possible for teams to compete and compare their scores with each other from anywhere in the world.
“We have made it in such a way that you hit a real tennis ball with a real strung racket. It is so portable you can play outdoors or indoors at any time. It is truly addictive in the best possible way.” says Dean as he continues his very competitive volley.
“TAKTIK TENNIS™ is a tethered ball game that has as been designed to build hand–eye coordination, burn calories, improve ball skills and encourage healthy competition that builds resilience and a competitive spirit.
You don’t need to find a court or be a member of a club; you can play indoors in the winter or outdoors anytime, anywhere, in your backyard, in the park with anyone.”
This well-priced, completely portable new-age activity has everything you need to start playing. Neatly packed in its convenient carry case are two rackets, two tennis balls, and a height-adjustable pole. To record your progress, you download access to the TAKTIK TENNIS™ App, and you are ready for your game, set and match.
Oh! And in case you’re wondering, batteries are also included.
As was it’s now superseded predecessor TAKTIK TENNIS™ is perfect for year-round family fun that is ideal for school activities, competitive sporting clubs, play centres and of course amateur and professional tennis training. It can even be used in the office as an energy lift during the day.
Because of its sturdy construction, it is also suitable for adult players looking for a competitive activity that can be played in a confined area with the hard-hitting vigour of a robust game of squash or tennis.
The design team, to their credit, have created an exciting interactive ball game. One gift for the whole family to enjoy.
“TAKTIK TENNIS™ is an inclusive game that is also suitable for physically impaired players who may be restricted to wheelchairs, as they can get involved by simply adjusting the pole height and/or the string length, allowing them to play or train as much as they like.” Says Dean as he completes another crowd-pleasing volley.
Click the link below to see an informative video.