Friday, August 23, 2013
Basketball Sleeve Knows You've Hit the Perfect Shot
THINK you've got game? Try this on for size: a sensor-laden sleeve promises to improve basketball players' shooting skills by tracking their arm movements and calculating the arc of their shots.
The sleeve is equipped with accelerometers that sit over the player's biceps, forearm and back of the hand. As they practise, the sleeve keeps track of every arm movement and compares it with an ideal model of arm motion for a basketball shot.
It can either provide feedback through a series of light and sound cues from the sleeve's sensors, or run in silent mode so the player can focus on practising. Afterwards, they can check their performance on a laptop.
"We asked coaches, 'How do you teach a shot? What do you consider good form?'" says Cynthia Kuo, co-founder of Vibrado in Sunnyvale, California, which developed the sleeve. "They look at things like keeping your elbow in, following through with your wrist, and keeping your arm up, but not too far up. So we created a model of the textbook shot."
The software can also calculate the arc of the ball as it leaves the hand. This could be useful as previous studies have shown that there is an ideal release angle depending on where the player is on the court. Releasing the ball at an angle of around 52 degrees gives the best chance of success for free throws, which are always taken from around 4.5 metres from the basket, for example.
"Coaches can give players specific skills to work on – they can say, 'I want you to go home and take 100 free throws' or something – and the sleeve will help them work on their form," Kuo says...Read more»
By: Michael Reilly