In the annals of sports there’s no bigger hero than the clutch shooter, whether it’s Aaron Harrison’s last second heroics to get Kentucky to the NCAA Championship, or the season-long efforts of the NBA’s best.
In an effort to make every would-be baller a scoring machine, ShotTracker, a small startup from Kansas City, has been demonstrating their new wearable technology at the tournament. The company has developed a wearable sleeve, which can be used in conjunction with strategically placed sensors and the company’s proprietary software to track shooters from anywhere on the court and determine how to improve their stroke.
The idea came to Ianni while watching his then 10-year-old son shoot hoops. “I thought if i had technology on his shooting arm that was on a chip [like a Nike Fuel band] I could use that like a trigger. Then if I could monitor the motions of the shot and monitor for shot attempts and I could put a sensor on the net and I would have shot attempts made and missed,” Ianni said. The missing piece of the puzzle was motion detection sensors that could follow a shooter’s position on the court.
“No one was really capitalizing on the market,” said Ross. “There are 10 million competitive basketball players between the ages of 7 and 17.” The two met through a network of entrepreneurs sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation.
ShotTracker has a partnership with Dragon Innovation to develop the technology and has already raised roughly $1 million in seed financing. The company is taking pre-orders for the ShotTracker now and expects the device to retail for roughly $99.
“We’ll have a middle tier offering and a enterprise offering as well,” Ianni said.
For Ross, a former college basketball player, the most impressive thing about the technology is its firmware. “It starts learning your shot and builds your profile.”
The package includes a chip that is embedded in a shooting sleeve or wristband, and another that clips on to the back of the net. Once a user downloads and launches the app, the devices sync immediately with the hardware.
ShotTracker is currently demo-ing its tech at “Bracket Town” in AT&T’s sponsor booth.
“This is sports specific wearable tech,” said Ianni. There are already several hundred pre-orders, and through Ross, the company has relationships and partnerships with several teams at various levels both high school, college and professional, he said.