With wearable tech on the rise, you start to wonder what we can’t already track – basketball shots perhaps? Well, Hoop Tracker does just that.
Basketball players spend much of their time practicing shooting, often with no idea of their stats so they never know whether they are actually improving. Players and coaches are often left manually calculating shot percentages, but this results in a lot of time and effort and so most don’t even bother doing so.
To put an end to all this, Hoop Tracker automatically tracks shooting statistics, including; 3 pointers, free throws, shots made and missed from different areas of the court, distance accuracy, consecutive made and missed shots along with time played and calories burned. Hoop Tracker provides real-time feedback on the smart watch and also allows users to track shooting performance and progress on their online software.
Hoop Tracker also has a ‘coach mode’, allowing coaches to view individual players shooting performance and progression whilst also assisting with team selection and positioning of players.
So, now you’re probably wondering how it works… There are two parts to Hoop Tracker, a smart watch worn around the wrist of the non-shooting hand and a shot detector which is mounted to the rim of the basketball hoop. The shot detector can detect whether the shot is scored or missed through direct contact or vibration, or by pressing a button on the side of the watch, in the case of a dreaded air ball.
For the NBA teams, this isn’t going to cause much excitement as stats are already extensively tracked. However, for the majority of basketball players it provides an interesting insight into their shooting success and improvement over time as well as helping to identify strengths and weaknesses.
One thing Hoop Tracker doesn’t do is help to improve a player’s technique and shooting performance doesn’t reflect a game situation (unless it’s half court!). Also, it doesn’t seem the most practical thing to bring along to a training session. However, despite its bulky design, it seems a great way to improve motivation. It even comes with pre-set games, allowing the user to compete against their own or their friend’s personal best and a function to share achievements on Facebook and Twitter.
Set to launch this summer, Hoop Tracker will set you back just over £100 but it certainly has huge potential within the basketball community.
Adie Blanchard – Researcher