Will this basketball smartwatch prove a slam dunk?
Hoop Tracker (Photo courtesy: Wireless Sports)
Published Saturday, March 22, 2014 7:37PM EDT
Or is the Hoop Tracker's single use too focused to stand a sporting chance against other wearable technology devices?
Its creators, Wireless Sports, definitely think it will be the former because unlike other sports, from hiking and swimming to running and riding, basketball is being totally overlooked by tech companies and by the quantified-self movement.
Promising automatic instantaneous analysis of everything from free throws to field goals, the device which has already spent two-and-a-half years in development, will also keep score and keep track of positional play, time spent on court and how many calories are being burned.
The idea is that constant use of the Hoop Tracker will help wearers up their shooting, reduce misses and identify where their game needs work. Interestingly, it achieves all of this with external as well as internal sensors. The device consist of a watch, a shot detector -- a piece of apparatus that needs to be positioned inside a hoop -- and the software that crunches the data and provides reports and updates.
It can be used for tracking stats in a big game for for tailoring training sessions and setting targets and is good for seven hours' constant use before a recharge is needed. And as the watch is worn on the wrist of the ‘non-shooting' arm, it shouldn't adversely affect a keen player's existing game.
Wireless Sport this week turned to Kickstarter in the hopes of bring the product to market before September and set an ambitious target of $100,000. And while early-bird backers will be able to snap one up for just $99, the company hopes to sell the smartwatch for $199 when it officially launches.
This is quite steep for a device with such limited use. However, only 48 hours after the campaign went live, the Hoop Tracker has already attracted pledges totaling $30,000 and the funding drive has another 37 days left to run.