However, just because everyone can’t be those types of players, doesn’t mean that they can’t work to become the best player possible. A new piece of wearable technology is aiming to help basketball players identify both their strengths and weaknesses on the court in order to improve on them, and, ultimately, improve their overall game.
Hoop Tracker is a new smartwatch that is designed for players to keep a record of their shot percentage and overall progress.
“I’ve played basketball, pretty much, since I was a kid,” Hoop Tracker founder Jason Duke said. “I used to, before ending my shooting session, try to make six of 10 three pointers before I left. Even though you think it’s relatively easy to keep track of, it’s kind of hard when you are focused on making your shot as well.”
Duke said that he always wondered why there wasn’t a shot tracker that players can easily use. That void in the market really prompted him dive head first into finally giving players a new piece of technology that can help them get better on the court.
“There’s wearable monitors for things like working out, swimming, biking and all these other sports, but there isn’t one for one of the most popular sports in the world,” he said.
In terms of the design of the device, Duke said that it took about three months of trial and error to get the final concept put together. Now it’s all about tweaking the device to the point where it works as well as possible.
With a magnetic basket-mounted detector, Hoop Tracker will allow players to only focus on one thing when practicing: making shots. The detector, while not being able to detect air balls (you can track those yourself on the watch), will record both makes and misses that trigger the vibrations, and send the results directly to the wrist watch.
Hoop Tracker will also track variants like shot location accuracy (left, right, center), shot streaks (made or missed) and even overall accuracy from specific distances.
Duke said that the watch has received interest from some of the largest companies in the sports world. Companies like Under Armor, Adidas and Spalding, among others, have all expressed interest in the Hoop Tracker, and want to see the device once it’s finalized.
“It’s encouraging when companies of that size, that are important in the sports world, are interested,” Duke said.
The device comes with a computer program that allows data from the watch to be sent to the program for profiling and tracking over time. The watch holds up to 100 shots per profile, so, by sending the information to the data tracking program, players can track progress through thousands of shots.
Coaches can even use the team profile function on the software to track an entire team’s progress with shots.
“While the watch can be shared among a team, it’s designed for each player to have their own device,” Duke said. “The coach can then track each individual player’s statistics.”
When it comes to overall tracking of the shots, Duke is confident that users won’t have to worry about mistracking of shots. He believes that enough tests have been done to ensure a fully-working product upon release.
Speaking of release, Duke is hopeful that the public will see Hoop Tracker this October. While circumstances could force a change of release, his team has stood pat on an October release for a while now.
Hoop Tracker will launch with a price tag of $199.
“That’s on par with any other activity tracker on the market,” Duke said.