Is there anything your smartphone can’t do? These days its limitations are fewer and fewer. It can’t make you a cup of coffee, but it can find the best in your vicinity. It can’t drive your car, but it can guide you to your destination. It can’t be your date for Saturday night, but it can help you meet one. And although it can’t play sports with you, it can now help you perfect your game.
You might never be Beckham or LeBron or Tiger, but with these innovative smartphone-connected devices, you’ll get closer than you ever imagined.
Tennis: Zepp Tennis Swing Analyzer
The surprisingly small Zepp Sensor gives instant feedback about your performance on the court. Mount it on your racket and it will capture, measure, and analyse your swing in three dimensions. The device records 1,000 data points per second, offering insight into your preferred shot type, your consistency, the shape of your serve, spin, and how much power you generate with each stroke. Then connect the Zepp to your iOS or Android device to discover your playing style.
Snowboarding: Oakley Airwave 1.5
Oakley’s Airwave goggles look like they could have come straight out of a Star Trek film (if they did a lot of snowboarding in space, that is). The built-in heads up display integrates GPS and Bluetooth tech to give you instant access to analytics like speed, airtime, distance and max height. The Airwave goggles also come equipped with preloaded maps and buddy tracking capabilities, plus music control and smartphone connectivity for both Apple and Android operating systems.
Basketball: 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball
Meet the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball, a game-changing (literally) way to shoot hoops. The ball’s size, weight, spin and bounce are all regulation, but that’s where the standard stuff ends. The Smart Sensor Basketball functions as a digital coach, giving feedback on every shot and dribble with impressive accuracy. Every force applied to the ball is measured, from spin to acceleration, allowing players to intelligently adjust dribble force/speed, shot arc, shot speed, etc.
Soccer: Adidas miCoach Smart Ball
The integrated sensors of the adidas miCoach Smart Ball tell you everything you need to know to improve your kick. The sensor package, suspended in the centre of the regulation size 5 soccer ball, collects data to determine the speed, spin, foot-strike point and trajectory of your kicks. The info is then sent via Bluetooth to the miCoach Smart Ball app on your iOS device, where it analyses your kicking performance and provides tutorials to help you master new techniques.
Golf Digest called the Swingbyte “one of the 12 coolest items at the PGA show.” The lightweight device attaches to any club and uses Bluetooth to record your swings for real-time review or later assessment. Swingbyte displays everything from club head speed and acceleration, to the angle of attack and club path, to your club’s true plane from address to impact. Afterwards, an online component compiles advanced analytics, allows you to share your data, and tracks your full swing history, trends and development areas.
Action Sports: Trace Action Sport Monitor
Plenty of gadgets are available for runners and cyclists, but the Trace Monitor is the first created specifically for action sports. Los Angeles-based startup ActiveReplay designed the hockey puck-shaped Trace device to be attached to your surfboard/snowboard/skateboard/skis with a durable mount and collect data via nine-axis inertial sensors. Using surf-, skate- and snow-specific apps for iOS and Android, it can track everything from speed to distance to jump height to rotation to calories burned.
Ice Hockey: FWD Powershot
Pop the FWD Powershot onto the end of your hockey stick and prepare to become a better player than you ever thought possible. The FWD Powershot syncs with your mobile device to measure the power and speed of your shots, and the amplitude and execution speed of your swing. With the FWD Sportscard app, you can track your results in real time, view stats, compare performances with your teammates, set challenges and share your achievements with your social media networks.