Concept & product design by Robert Lindström, 2012
Next Generation Table Tennis Table
“Waldner” – the next generation ping pong table, made by an advanced computer system integration. The table has a multi-touch sensible surface, which responds to human touch and real world objects, like ping-pong balls. The table is also equipped with Siri voice recognition that monitors the game along with a Mac Pro 12-core computer. That means the table is very intelligent of course; it sees, feels and hears the game. You can even discuss a ball with it to improve your ping pong skills or argue about a point.
"So what are you waiting for, Roman Abramovich? Quit wasting your money on washed-up strikers, firing managers and ropey haircuts, and invest in this instead."
Sport Magazine, Issue 246, March 2 2012
Under the surface we find two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5620 “Westmere” processors and an ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphic cards, a Wi-Fi connection and 12 Bose micro speakers.
The table is 2.74 m long, 1.52 m wide, 76 cm high and 5 cm thick. The surface, which is a huge screen, is made of soft acrylic that gives the correct smooth, low-friction coating. The screen is supported Apple’s new HiDPI, which gives a resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixel.
The “net” is made by parts of a touch-sensitive screen from Samsung. With embedded invisible touch sensors it can show for example different information from balls taken in net.
After and during the game, all kind of statistics can be found on the table. Players can for example compare the balls hit areas (where each hit have been visualized by a circle and contains information like speed and trajectory). All data is stored and can be visualized as real time 3D on devices as iPad and iPhones.
The tables’ interface activates with a simple two-finger scroll. During game the scores are showed on the surface and changes automatically via a collaboration of the tables sensors, Siri and the players voice. Yes, you can even argue with Siri about a ball and if you not are coming along with the referee; change the score with a swipe.
I wanted to have clean, thin and straight digits that come along with the rest of the design. Therefore I made these digits in Illustrator. If you like them and you need some digits, feel free to use them.
Digits Waldner DC — Download Illustration file (.zip)
Why the concept?
I have always been interested of product design and new technology, and specially the combination of these two. It’s very inspiring to think about what today’s ever-accelerating technology will impact on simple products we have today, as a ping pong table.
Why STIGA and Waldner?
STIGA is a Swedish brand first of all, and when I grew up we had a STIGA in our basement. And it has a pretty cool retro logotype that made a nice contrast to the very modern table. Jan-Ove Waldner is known as “the Mozart of table tennis” and is a legend in his native Sweden as well as in China. He is one of our biggest sport profiles, sponsored by STIGA.
Update. September 2, 2012.
General Manager of STIGA Sports Beijing have shown interest. He was contacted by a Chinese sport magazine called "Table Tennis" who had read about it on my blog. A magazine who later also made an 4 pages article of the table (image above). STIGA showed the table at sport conference in Beijing when they was interested in the design and the ideas.
The table is still a concept.