Cash ask: $100,000
Concept: Hoop Tracker is a two piece gadget that helps keep track of your makes and misses when you’re shooting around. First you must mount a “shot detector” equipment onto the rim, then strap on the SmartWatch on your non-shooting hand. Every shot that drops through the hoop triggers the lever attached to the “shot detector,” which then sends a wireless signal to the SmartWatch. You can analyze the data of your shooting sessions via a software that comes with the package.
Creator: Wireless Sports, a South Florida start-up founded by Jason Duke, who has nine years experience in a “key management role” for BSN, a company that makes protein powder and sports supplements.
Worth Funding? Mostly yes. Shooting hoops is a pastime of many people around the world, and to be able to keep track of your shooting stats could prove useful – especially today, in the midst of the NBA’s advanced stats movement.
But it’s worth noting that the Hoop Tracker might not work as well advertised. First of all, I’m not sure if the “shot detector” can successfully mount onto every rim – it should mount to regulation gym hoops fine, but what about cheaper hoops in the backyard? Or broken down street hoops – and having to mount the thing (and then take it off) after every session might be a hassle. Second, while the “shot detector” can detect misses via vibrations from the rim, it doesn’t detect airballs or shots that only hit the backboard. Finally, while the company claims the Hoop Tracker can track three pointers, free throws, or normal field goals, this is a bit misleading – it can only do so if you follow a pre-designed shot program, entered before the session. It’s not like the watch or detector can actually tell which spot on the floor you are currently shooting. Also, the Hoop Tracker apparently provides shooting programs for each position. I assume this means the program for centers will involve close range shots while the shooting guard program will include threes? That goes against the current position-less, stretch-four, basketball movement. Players should be practicing all types of shots, period, regardless if you’re a point guard or a small forward.
Suggested pledge: $99 will get you the entire Hoop Tracker set, which is a pretty good deal (the company plans to sell it for $199 later); $149 gets you a personalized engraved Hoop Tracker, while $2 gets you a “virtual fistbump.” What, no virtual butt slap?