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Pipeline members team up for wearable tech that tracks shots

Practice makes perfect, but it won’t go nearly as far if you aren’t practicing smart.

Technology has made workouts easier to track for runners, swimmers, football players and more, but so far basketball hasn’t kept up. Bruce Ianni, co-founder of Innovadex, and Davyeon Ross, founder of Digital Sports Ventures, believe their new product, ShotTracker, can get players of all ages in rhythm and motivated to stay on the court longer.

The product consists of a wrist band or arm sleeve (personal preference), weather-resistent net sensor and mobile app that provide a tracking system for every shot hoisted and the number made or missed—all tied together through a Bluetooth connection. Players can shoot freely and track their accuracy or they can use one of app’s programs to follow certain spots on the floor and find out where they need the most work.

It’s a minimum viable product, Ianni said, with a lot of features to be unveiled down the road, but it hits at a problem the two co-founders understood from their own experiences.

Ianni, who played high school basketball but focused on football in college, was teaching his son how to play when he realized there were patterns in his son’s shooting when he rebounded for him while playing a staple basketball game, Around the World. Knowing how much wearable tech has skyrocketed—the number of wearables sold nearly tripled from 2011 to 2012, according to an infographic created by ShotTracker—Ianni saw the opportunity to collaborate with Ross.

Ross was a collegiate basketball player and has extensive technology experience, so it was a natural fit for Ianni. The two started on the project this May, and five months later have a product ready for users. Ross said it didn’t take much convincing to get him on board.

“I shot about 1,000 shots per day in the summer,” he told Silicon Prairie News. “But there wasn’t an efficient way to track shots without getting distracted.”

The two founders originally came together though as a result of Pipeline, an exclusive community of entrepreneurs in the Midwest—Ianni joined in 2008, Ross in 2009. Through Pipeline they gained a mutual admiration and respect for each other, and Ianni knew ShotTracker would be in Ross’ “wheel house.” The co-founders are funding ShotTracker themselves as of now, but have opened a $25,000 crowdfunding campaign to launch ShotTracker more quickly.

Beyond tracking, players using the technology will be able to compete with friends and strangers alike through global competition. There are leader boards, challenges and social gamifications that bridge the gap when physically playing with others isn’t possible. It’s “timeshift competitive basketball,” as Ross describes it, likening it to highly successful games such as Draw Something.

Ianni points to that competitiveness as just one of three reasons they went after the idea.

“No. 1, we’re helping our target audience of 7- to 17-year-old boys and girls who play year round become better shooters,” he told Silicon Prairie News. “You can’t improve what you don’t measure. We’re out to create better shooters and help kids enjoy basketball. No. 2, it’s crazy addictive and will get kids off the couch and onto the driveway. No. 3, as part of the company, we have a plan to give back to those who have less than they need.”

Ross said the plan hasn’t been formalized yet, but the hope is get a shot tracker on every net possible as they know not everyone will be able to afford it—the product will cost less than $100, but the pair hasn’t landed on a final cost yet.

“We want to change the lives of people via basketball the way it changed ours,” Ross said.

Learn more about ShotTracker:

 

Credits:Video courtesy ShotTracker.