Published on January 10th, 2015 | by Greg
ShotTracker: The Hoop Is The Thing
Wearables are growingly important, and fitness trackers are certainly one of the biggest categories in gadgets, as witnessed by the just-ended CES 2015 show in Las Vegas. There are lots of options out there, and they cover most sports- from running and jogging and tennis and even things like yoga and swimming. But some activities require a bit more finesse, because what fun is a game when you’re not keeping track of the the score.
The ShotTracker is the first system that combines three components to help boost your basketball game- a sensor that gets attached to your basketball net, another wristband sensor, and an app that you download to your smartphone, either Android or iOS. It automatically tracks shot attempts, successes and misses, and works indoors or outdoors, with any ball. The wrist sensor knows when you took a shot, and the hoop attachment detects whether it went through the rim, and the app keeps track of the data.
You can probably immediately notice two downsides to the system- you will need to keep your smart device nearby while you play, and you’ll need to do some setup before you’re able to put the whole thing into practice. You can’t just run to the park or the YMCA and expect to be able to track your shots, unlike the smart basketball we’ve checked out in the past. There’s one additional small caveat, which is that the sensors weren’t perfect- they didn’t always detect a shot, and a few attempts didn’t register as ‘made’ even when they were (especially shots that didn’t touch the rim).
But if you want to play at home, and don’t mind wearing the lightweight wrist strap, then the ShotTracker is pretty amazing- it issues a great sound effect that encourages you on the court, and makes solo play more fun. With a three-month battery life for the net sensor, you won’t need to worry much about it, and installation is a snap (but we recommend some tests to make sure it’s placed ideally). The wrist sensor can run for about eight hours, plenty of time, and the included cradle can charge both at the same time. The mobile app is easy to use, with plenty of statistics, and even drills and workouts, and social aspects to help you boast about your record. One of ESPN’s holiday gift suggestions, the ShotTracker adds gamification elements to your basketball workout, allowing you to focus on shooting and improving your game over time. Available now, expect to spend around $150 for the ShotTracker.