High-tech basketball offers data, leaderboards and hefty price tag
With basketball season already upon us and the holidays quickly approaching, the latest piece of basketball equipment may be the perfect gift for the sports fan and data enthusiast in your life.
94Fifty is a specially patented basketball that transmits performance data to a downloadable app on your smartphone using a built-in bluetooth sensor inside the basketball. According to a press release from Infomotion Sports Technologies, the product will help basketball players “improve their muscle memory for core skills like dribbling, passing and shooting. For shooting, we measure things like shot spin, shot arc and shot release speed to the millisecond. For dribbling, we measure things like number of bounces, dribble force, dribble speed, control, strong/weak hand analysis, etc.”
But what makes this product stand out is its ability to provide players a chance to correct and/or improve basic basketball skills without the need of continuous and pricey private lessons from a teacher or coach. The downloadable app acts as the private instructor and the built-in sensor makes it all possible by calculating seemingly infinite amounts of data. With endorsements from NBA point guard Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies and having the product sold in Apple retail stores, this item is beginning to intrigue consumers on various levels.
One of the more appealing aspects of both the product and the app is the leaderboard system it uses. A user can log in and see how others are doing with one of the many drills you are trying to master, creating a competition-style community. For example, you can open up your the app on your smartphone and see that Conley has registered 70 shots out of 100 attempts, which could give you motivation and a gold standard to strive toward.
The only setback is the price tag. The basketball,which can be ordered in various regulation-sizes – totals at a whopping $259 when combined with the charging station, which keeps the sensor in the basketball primed for about 8 hours.
Infomotion Sports Technologies holds a utility patent for an “electronic component enclosure for an inflated object,” which means football, volleyball and soccer players could see a similar product hit store shelves in the near future.
The 94Fifty sensor basketball is now available for purchase through shop.94Fifty.com.