Connected Objects Sports

The Strike connected baseball helps you close out more games

When baseball teams and television networks want to record how fast a pitcher throws a baseball, sophisticated — and expensive — equipment is used. With the advent of the connected technologies over the past few years, though, that isn’t necessary anymore. Now, the ability to track and record pitches can be found in the ball itself with the Strike connected baseball.

With its embedded Bluetooth antenna and gyroscope, the Strike is able to accurately track ball speed, spin and rotational axis for the kind of in-depth information any serious pitcher or organization would want to have to make real improvements. Jingletek, the company behind Strike, was able to create a product with this level of functionality while still retaining the baseball’s classic form and weight, a key factor in its possible adoption by baseball players, organizations and possibly the majors.

Robots/Drones Sports

Trainerbot could take your ping pong to Forrrest Gump levels

Ping pong is one of those sports that absolutely requires another person to play with. There are a lot of caveats to that, though: If both players are terrible, not much will happen in the way of actual ping pong. If skills levels are vastly different, not much will happen in the way of actual ping pong AND someone’s feelings will be hurt. As a result, it’s difficult to effectively practice playing ping pong.

The Trainerbot turns any table into a suitable location for some hardcore ping pong practice. Its lightweight design can hold 30 ping pong balls but still be tossed into a backpack. This robot has a lot of functionality, able to serve any type of shot (topspin, backspin, sidespin) anywhere on a table and adjust difficulty depending on a player’s skill level.

Sports Toys

FOOOTY is a folding ball that’s a real kick

As people get older, the opportunities for play get fewer and farther in between. It’s a shame, too, because along with exercise and diet, engaging in unstructured or structured play has shown to be highly beneficial for health.

For that reason, inventor Jean-Pierre Raes labored in making something that would allow spontaneous play anywhere. The result was the FOOOTY system, a system of flat construction elements that come together using an easy-click system to create a variety of balls. The finished ball is rugged and waterproof, able to take kicks without going flat — perfect for that impromptu game of hackey sack.

Connected Objects Sports

Ti.ttle golf swing analyzer could help you shave some strokes

An increasing number of devices are being introduced to help golfers practice their swings while away from a golf course.

Ti.ttle is a small device that clips onto a golf club and serves as a swing analyzer calculating the distance and direction a golf ball would have traveled if it was hit with that swing. It works in conjunction with apps for Android and iOS mobile devices, and can be used with all types of golf clubs, including drivers, woods, irons, wedges and putters, according to its Kickstarter campaign. After each practice swing, ti.ttle provides real-time feedback by displaying the calculated carry distance on its OLED display.

Ti.ttle ships in December. Retail pricing isn’t provided by its Kickstarter campaign. But early bird backers can get one as low as $49. Its makers are looking to raise $60,000 by Dec. 3.

Many devoted golfers may want to give ti.ttle a try, although it’s difficult to tell from the campaign video just how accurate it is. There have been other devices introduced that allow golfers to practice their swings without being anywhere near a golf course. One example is the Smart Golf connected golf club. One major advantage of ti.ttle is that it allows golfers to practice using the clubs they are already familiar with.


Games Sports Toys

On Wheelz fuses shoes and skates, makes crowded streets a roller derby

Remember those Fisher Price skates everyone had as a kid? They transformed sneakers into skates, and for most kids, they were the coolest thing ever.

On Wheelz has taken that simple idea one step further. They’ve upgraded this common kids’ toy into a grown-up mode of transportation. Wear stylish sneakers or dress shoes that snap on to the skate “chassis”, and get rolling! The On Wheelz concept is elegant and simple. In the factory, the name-brand sneakers and dress shoes are fitted with a snapping port in the sole. The port slides into the four-wheel chassis, and all bets are off. The creators are hoping to reach a goal of $32,851 by June 30th, 2015 and deliver in Oct 2015. Backers can pay $356 for a pair of the skates (stylish shoes included!)

Personal transportation doesn’t come much more discreet than this adult version of Heelys, but it’s certainly more apt for recreation than the daily commute. The company also offer a service where a backer can send in their shoes and have them retrofitted with the port, making this product unique and customizable.


Nutshellz is the cup for stopping a bullet to the groin

One of the most important purchases any athlete can make is a groin guard. Most sports require it, and for two extremely good reasons. Unfortunately, most groin guards can be bulky, uncomfortable, and be made from less than convincing materials.

The aptly named Nutshellz groin guard is positioning itself as the end all be all of groin protection. It packs a combination of carbon fiber and kevlar covered with aerospace grade laminate to make it look pretty. With these materials, Nutshellz even boasts the product can stop a bullet and although it may sound preposterous, it’s true — just check out the campaign for yourself. It’s seeking to raise $30,000 by June 23, 2015. Each Nutshellz will cost $35, but only for a youth model for now. Backers can expect their very own by December 2015.

One of the best groin guards on the market is the Diamond MMA, and besides their heavy duty materials, offers superior comfort. If Nutshellz doesn’t do that same, the absolute best materials in the world won’t mean a thing.

Smartwatches/Bands Sports

Pulse Play wearable for racket sports keeps score, doesn’t do much else

Racket ball sports such as tennis, badminton, squash and pingpong delight upper-crust players around the globe. Pulse Play is a wearable used for just such sports. Worn on the wrist, this product monitors each match and records data to an accompanying app via Bluetooth. It keeps and announces the score, remembers the stats of each match, ranks players, and can even match players up with those near them who match their playing level. The wristband comes in a rainbow of colors and is made of lightweight material perfect for working up a sweat in.

Pulse Play only really seems mildly useful. Yes, it keeps score, but the data it provides won’t help one improve their game and it’s doubtful that many are interested in being matched up with other strange players. People only want to meet strangers with the help of an app if they’re going to hook up. Perhaps if the wearable pushed a bit further and provided feedback on speed and swing, like the Arcus fitness wearable, it would enjoy some success.

Still, interested backers can have one of their own for a donation of $75 for delivery in October 2015. Pulse Play’s Indiegogo campaign has a fundraising goal of $75,000.

Connected Objects Sports

Smart Golf analyzes your swing to steer you to the green

Many golfers would love to hit the green more often than they do, but can’t due to busy schedules at work and home. That can make it especially difficult for a beginner golfer to learn the game.

Smart Golf is a connected golf club that can be used anywhere to improve one’s swing. It analyze golfers’ swings after connection via Wi-Fi to an Android, iOS or Windows Phone app. One of the light signals on the head of the club will indicate when the angle of the user’s stance is correct before swinging.

The application then records the users’ swings, helping them progress and discouraging bad habits. After swinging, an audio alert will indicate contact with a virtual ball. Owners can then instantly review all the information regarding the swing, including rhythm, tempo, speed and angle. Smart Golf costs $180 and ships in October. Its maker is looking to raise $20,000 by June 14.

There have been other products designed to improve one’s golf swing, including the Flex Putter Trainer. But Smart Golf holds promise because of its portability, the realistic club design, and that it can also function as a multiplayer interactive golf game.


Apparel Connected Objects Sports

Turning Shoe helps athletes avoid injury and perfect their form

When playing baseball, golf or other similar sports, stress is often placed on the body when swinging a bat or club, throwing a baseball, or making other unnatural motions that the body is unaccustomed to.

patent-claimedThe Turning Shoe is a smart shoe designed to reduce this type of stress and impact to the body by promoting a more natural swinging motion for baseball and golf players. The Turning Shoe eDrive Plus adds a sensor that sends information about users’ movements to their smartphones via a mobile smartphone app. Its maker plans to ship the shoes in six color designs. Turning Shoes for baseball and golf will cost $299 each, while Turning Shoe eDrive Plus for the same two sports will cost $395 each. All will ship in October provided that a campaign goal of $50,000 is met by April 16.



Perfect Snap may help quarterbacks initiate the winning touchdown

Many young football players dream of getting the attention of just the right scout and getting picked up for a pro contract. It’s one thing to dream, it’s another thing to do the hard work to make that dream happen. Perfect Snap was invented to help guys strengthen the skills that they need to be a more effective quarterback.

One of several nice features of this product is that it eliminates the need for someone to take on the center position since the product is designed to provide a simulated center-quarterback exchange. This increases the quarterback’s confidence, sense of timing, and strengthens his hands. The device is touted as being weather resistant and is made primarily with PVC piping, wood, screws and elastic cording. It allows coaches to be able to watch the exchange and effectively evaluate technique so that they can offer helpful tips and pointers. This seems like a good training tool worth checking into further.

This campaign seeks to raise $15,000 by March 4. Backers won’t receive an actual product, but for $10, a video and the story of how the product idea occurred is offered. The expected delivery is in August of this year.