I have the dubious distinction of being the worst free throw shooter in the history of the Edina High School basketball program. And one? And none. Ever. I made Shaq look like Steve Nash.
Doug in his thirties might have something on Doug in his teens, however. Today at CES (the annual gadget show in Vegas), a pair of off-the-shelf webcams mounted to a basketball hoop and feeding real-time data to a connected app informed me that a free throw I sunk had achieved a perfect score of 100 points. The swish was so deafening it could be heard in Reno and felt as far away as Los Angeles.
I would later sink a 99-point free throw: again, an incredible feat in the history of human achievement. Three other free throws racked up scores of 45, 31 and 36. We don’t need to analyze those too closely.
Each shot was having its power, direction and height tracked and boiled down to a numeric score by an app called ArcAid, developed by Cambridge Consultants. The company is pitching the technology as a low-cost way for sports teams to improve their technique with simple-to-set-up hardware that’s tied to an app to crunch all the numbers.
A company rep told me that additional sensors and cameras could be set up around a basketball court to gather more robust data, such as which spots on the court coincide with the highest percentage of points scored. While similar systems exist today, many are prohibitively expensive for most teams. Something like this would use inexpensive hardware that’s widely available and would be easy to install.
So when might you see such a system out in the wild? That depends. The company dreams this stuff up and then licenses out the technology to someone who wants to turn it into a finished product (click here to see a list of its successful consumer products).
The company also showed off a system it developed to enable real-time vaccine checks by using a smartphone to visually analyze a small diagnostic device. You can read more about that by clicking here.