For a second there, it definitely looked like the only piece of smart sports equipment was tennis rackets, but Wilson (ironically enough, also a manufacturer of tennis rackets) has just introduced a smart basketball which displays game stats using a companion app.
Obviously, Wilson is not manufacturing only tennis rackets and footwear, as even this basketball stands to prove, but it’s for the white sport that this company is best known for, as also emphasized on its website.
As all smart sports equipment, Wilson’s basketball features performance-tracking sensors that record data and transmit it wirelessly to a smartphone or a tablet. A companion app will be launched so that whoever buys the smart basketball is able to make sense of the data collected by the sensors.
Wilson developed this product in collaboration with Finnish AI firm SportIQ, whose real time tracking system means to be a real game changer in sports analytics. Some of the parameters tracked by the smart basketball include:
- Running distance
- Heat maps
- Shooting accuracy through make or miss detection technology
- Automated shot recognition
- Distance of the shot
SportIQ’s system also provides overlays on video, allowing us to see the player controlling the basketball at the moment, as well as the basketball itself. Automated cameras would be able to follow either the basketball or the player who last touched it.
Needless to say, Wilson’s smart basketball could help players improve their technique by allowing them to see where they’re mistaking. More than that, by analyzing the trajectories in both offense and defense, a team could see the mistakes made by their adversaries and exploit them. Unfair? Maybe, but it’s a high-tech solution, and I’ll definitely turn a blind eye on that.
Wilson is planning to launch its smart basketball in the winter, so if you happen to known anyone tall enough to touch the rim of the basket, this would probably make the perfect gift for Christmas. Fortunately, basketball can be played in all seasons, either indoors or outdoors, so the Wilson smart basketball could be used used all year round by anyone who receives it as a gift.
Tom Gruger, Wilson’s VP of Digital, stated in an interview with Engadget that “Wilson is pursuing solutions in all of its primary sport categories. We’re excited by the roadmap ahead and feel that we can change the way that sport is approached.” In other words, expect to see some smart golf balls, footballs, baseballs, volleyballs and other such sports equipment coming your way from this manufacturer.
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