94fifty Smart Sensor Basketball
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a basketball that could actually double as your personal coach? What if your basketball could tell you what you’re doing wrong and help you improve on your skills by giving you detailed feedback? That’s exactly what you get with the 94fifty Smart Sensor Basketball. This is the future of basketball technology!
The 94fifty is essentially a regulation ball with built in sensors that measure your shot and your dribbling. This information is automatically sent to your smartphone through a Bluetooth connection and the data is ready for you to review through a dedicated app. While this basketball won’t instantly turn you into Michael Jordan, it will help you be more efficient during your practice time.
After reading about the potential of the 94fifty, I couldn’t wait to try it for myself. I’ve been using it for a while and overall, I think it’s definitely an asset that any player could benefit from no matter what your current skill level might be.
First things first, let’s talk about what comes with the 94fifty and how it actually works. Along with the basketball, you will receive a wireless battery charger and a free app that will track the history of up to four players. You can use the 94fifty with a variety of devices. It’s compatible with iPhon 4s and later, iPod Touch 5th Generation, iPad 3rd Generation and later, and Android devices.
The ball itself is well made, which is to be expected since this is the official smart basketball of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. To activate it, you bounce it four times. It will go into an automatic sleep mode after five minutes of no activity and you can expect to get about 8 hours of continuous battery life before you need to stop and recharge. It is made from weather resistant synthetic leather and suitable for indoor and outdoor play. It’s regulation size and weight and overall, it feels good in your hand.
Does It Actually Work?
While the concept of a smart basketball is awesome, everyone wants to know if it will actually work. After playing with it for quite some time, I can honestly say that yes, it works! It’s actually pretty accurate with breaking down data. My favorite feature is that it gives you the arc of the ball after each shot in degrees. I can visually see my arc so that I know whether I’m shooting too high or too low and then I can work on correcting the arc until I can sink the shot from any spot on the court.
The corresponding app is very easy to use. I found it very motivating to see all of my data. Best of all, you can participate in challenges against other players and that provides plenty of motivation to practice and improve your skills.
In terms of the actual basketball itself, it is very comfortable to use. It has a nice grip and it is regulation size. While you can technically use this ball to practice anywhere, it should really be used indoors for best results and to insure it has the longest possible lifespan. Just like any other technology, you need to take care of it.
Even though the 94fifty Smart Sensor Basketball is awesome, it does have a few drawbacks. The most obvious is the cost. It’s expensive, but keep in mind that you are not just getting an ordinary basketball. It’s also doubling as your personal coach and you will get a lot of value by using the app on a regular basis to improve your game.
The only other major problem for me was in the logistics of using the app while I’m practicing. The app has a built in basketball coach that will talk you through your drills and tell you where you need to improve. However, you will have to put your phone in your pocket and wear headphones to hear the coach. I tried hooking my phone to a speaker, but even then, it was almost impossible to hear the voice clearly with the noise of my own dribbling. Personally, I didn’t like keeping my phone in my pocket while I was running drills and doing lay-ups. It is way too easy to drop your phone when it’s jostling around in the pocket of your basketball shorts.
Overall, I think the 94fifty Smart Sensor Basketball is an incredible product. The technology used in this ball is really a game changer for serious players who crave instant feedback. If you are willing to spend the money for the 94fifty, you won’t be disappointed. While it’s not a perfect product, it’s pretty close and definitely worth the cost.