HomeTechnologySports Gadgets94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball (videos)

    94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball (videos)

    94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball (videos)

    94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball

    You could say that over time, the game of basketball has become an exact science. Coaches have disciplined ways to teach you how to shoot, how to dribble, how to see the whole court and how to create a play.  A well executed shot, for example, requires a certain type of release, spin and arc.  Dribbling requires constant practice and coordinated hands.  Offense and defense require proper form and body movement.  All of these mechanics require great coaching and tireless practice.

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    The Ball

    The new 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball aims at cutting this learning curve in half with the latest in technology.  The product, made by InfoMotion Sports, is essentially a regulation basketball with sensors inside.  Each of these sensors measures your dribbling and your shot, and subsequently sends that data to your smartphone wirelessly (via Bluetooth). That data is compiled and immediately provides feedback of those shooting and dribbling disciplines, making proper and accurate practice a reality all the time.  The ball runs a lightweight operating system that dissects patterns in motion and can communicate anomalies in less than 100 milliseconds over Bluetooth.

    The product is getting some meaningful attention from high schools, colleges and even at the professional level.  The 94Fifty comes with a ball, a Qi wireless charger and a custom carrying bag.  The app, available for Android and iOS, is a free download.  Battery life lasts for about 8 hours of continuous ball use, and recharging only take around 2-hours. Additionally, the mobile app will tell you how much battery life the ball has left, and after 5 minutes of idle time, the ball’s battery shuts down as a power-saving feature.

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    The App

    The app is a big component of the 94Fifty system, and it contains two modes:  “workout” mode and “skills training” mode. The workout mode for shooting is focused on release time and accuracy, and you start at the most basic level, called “playground”, and work your way up to “prepstar”, “college” and “pro”, with harder-to-achieve goals at each progression. Each drill consists of 10 shots. You shoot standing still in one drill, and on the move in the next, from 15 feet one time through, and 20 feet the next.  While the ball can’t detect a made or missed shot, future generations of the product will be able to do so.

    “Skill training mode” focuses on your shot arc, backspin, shot release and dribbling. You can combine some of the skills in this mode as well, and future updates to the app will allow you to customize your own skills training a bit more. The ball also uses a magnetometer and knows when it’s gone past the rim, measuring your backspin and shot arc.  Voice prompts give you verbal feedback, which include score and adjustment tips such as, “flick your wrist” or “bend those legs”. The 94Fifthy ball and app truly know what you’re doing incorrectly.

    The app also includes the ability to go head-to-head with other players, and you can also use the social tool to send out your score via Twitter, and challenge others to beat it.  Sometime in the spring, an app update will give the user a choice of current famous coaches, so you can listen to them instructing you on various weaknesses.

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    Marching Forward with this New Technology

    The technology in the new 94Fifty basketball begs the question, “What else could you do with this?” Perhaps golf, soccer, baseball… really anything that requires muscle memory…even surgery or playing an instrument. The company says that the 2nd-generation 94Fifty will add new capabilities like off-the-dribble shot-release speed and free-throw games.  Another feature coming very soon is a video-overlay component that lets players take videos of themselves or others while shooting, and then overlays the shot result onto the video. This will first be used in the social competition function of the app, and will be applied elsewhere in future releases.

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    Bottom Line

    The 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball is available through the company’s website,  at the Apple Store and on [amazon_link id=”B00IF1P8LM” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Amazon [/amazon_link]for $249. While that’s a far cry from the price of a regular ball, it is perhaps the best basketball training tool around for serious ball players, looking for serious and extensive training.  It could almost replace a personal coach with the amount of information it can give you about your game, and the suggestions it provides you to improve it.

    This is a very cool product, and its applications are endless.  For now, the 94Fifty in the basketball space is a killer learning and training tool, and it will be exciting to see 2nd and third iterations of the product.  And about the price?  For all this ball can do, for the technology that’s stuffed into it, and for the invaluable data and feedback it provides you, $249 is dirt cheap.  I hear high-level basketball camps are running around $4,000.

    Check out the company videos…

    David Novak
    David Novak
    For the last 20 years, David Novak has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV around the world, reviewing the latest in consumer technology. His byline has appeared in Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. He has also made radio appearances on the The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey RadioShow. He’s also made TV appearances on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show. His nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY, appears in over 100 newspapers around the world each week, where Novak enjoys over 3 million in readership. David is also a contributing writer fro Men’s Journal, GQ, Popular Mechanics, T3 Magazine and Electronic House here in the U.S.

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