Even bench warmers that aren’t great at basketball could find themselves better thanks to the InfoMotion technology powering the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball that’s being shown off at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Starting at $179.95, the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball attempts to use technology to bridge the skills gap. Buyers who pick up the Smart Sensor Basketball get the latest in stats and criticism. There are always going to be those people who’d like to play basketball, but don’t have aim. The 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball uses sensors and software to analyze shot accuracy. Users who are bad at aiming will get an instant critique of their technique thanks to a companion app that’s available on iPhone and device’s running Google’s Android platform.
Those same sensors and Smart Sensor Basketball companion app allow for real-time score keeping during a pickup game for up to five people. Users who are considering purchasing a 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball aren’t don’t so because they want an expensive new toy. They want to get better, they need feedback about their basketball skills because they want to improve dramatically. The companion app also allows users to track their stats over time. In theory, users who consistently use the 94Fifity Smart Sensor Basketball – and make changes to their technique – will see their ball handling and shooting improve over time. Tracked stats include dribble intensity, shooting arc, how long it takes to shoot the ball itself and feedback on wrist movement.
To communicate with the companion app for iPhones and Android devices, the 94Fity Smart Sensor Basketball uses Bluetooth technology that works within a 90 foot range of user’s smartphones. The skin of the basketball itself is unchanged from other regulation basketballs: it’ leather and water resistant. Instead, sensors inside and software inside do all the tracking. There are women and kids regulation sizes too, all available for the same $179.99. Users can update the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball from their smartphone. To pull off the water resistance, 94Fifty uses wireless charging technology. Companion apps for the basketball are already available; and 94Fifty’s website is promising shipping times for the Smart Sensor Basketball of around 2-4 days in the continental United States. A free carrying case, power cord, charting pad and holder are included.
It was the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball itself on showcase during today’s CES 2015 events, but it was the underlying InfoMotion technology that was honored for Best Innovation at the show. The company is showing off the technology at a booth during the show the entire week. InfoMotion itself is a technology stack, software and specifications that fitness and sports companies can build on for a well-rounded experience. The 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball is the first device to become available, but we could see it in more devices if the Smart Sensor Basketball does well.
The InfoMotion technology and the Smart Sensor Basketball are part of a new category of devices meant to enhance the lives of users, while staying out of the way. These devices are supposed to blend in, allowing users to track their health and more. Last year, baby products that track sleep time where popular. This year the Internet of Things focus seems to be on less obvious everyday products that can be improved with smartphone connectivity. Big computing companies like Intel, makers of processors, and even Microsoft are hard at work preparing for the rise of the Internet of Things.