Former Coe College Teammates Develop Tennis App
Julien Duhautois and Uzir Thapa recently won a first-place prize for their Tennis Line Call App at the Fifth Annual Young Entrepreneur Convention at Iowa State University. The duo won $3,000 for their invention of the mobile app that turns phones into a line judge. All you need is a smartphone and a tripod. The process has been more difficult than Duhautois ever thought.
“We had no idea it would be so difficult,” he said. “We have had to make state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence technology work on a phone. Phones have different cameras. iPhones require different programming than Android. Pickleball lines started popping up everywhere messing with our court detection algorithms. This is just to name a few challenges. And yet here we are, about to release the app which is currently in iOS beta.”
He said the competition was nerve-wracking. They only had 90 seconds to make a pitch that their app had great potential. The prize money will help them so they can enter the market more quickly.
“Winning the competition was another layer of validation that we are onto something that will change the world of tennis,” he explained. “I think one of the members of the jury plays tennis, too, so that helped!”
31-year old Julien has been playing tennis since he was four years old. He grew up in a small town near France and eventually played at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. His co-founder also played at Coe College. They’ve been working on this app together for three years. They hope to make some headway from this point forward.
“Our ultimate mission is to make tennis even more fun for amateur players. How awesome will it be when we don't question our own calls, or worse, our opponents? All there is left is fun and fair competition.”
The app is free for seven days, then there will be an annual subscription. Duhautois hopes to work with schools, colleges and clubs on a pricing structure as well.
Currently the iOS + Apple Watch app is out for beta testing and they are looking for volunteers to field test it. If you are interested, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to https://www.tennislinecall.com.