Who doesn’t shoot that game-winning basket on the hoop in the driveway? Or play fantasy baseball or football? The thing is, the fantasy ends when you have to really DO it. The vast majority of us will never play pro sports, or even get that level of training.
But what if you could actually get real feedback to improve your game? That’s where these “wearables” come in; they’re sensors designed to analyze how you play and point to where you can make improvements. You may never live the dream, but at least the dream will be a little more realistic.
ZEPP 3D Baseball Swing Analyzer ($149.95)
Unleash your swing and see the results after every pitch. The sensor attaches to the bottom of the bat and the app (iOS/Android) records and analyzes in 3D and in real-time. Gauge bat speed, hand speed, attack angle and more in HD video. There’s even video for comparing your swing directly to MLB pros.
Blast Motion: Basketball
Attach the sensor to your waistband and play. The app will record video of the action, capturing those important 3D action metrics — acceleration, vertical height, rotation and hang-time — in real-time. It can even store movement data when out of range of the iPhone and download it later when reconnected. The smart video capture lets you analyze, compare and share your play (it even auto creates and stores video clips of each action).
94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball ($194.99)
If only the basketball could talk. It would tell you exactly how you’re shooting. Well, this basketball can, because it’s sensor and battery-driven and hooked up to your phone (iOS/Android). Instant communication means every shot and dribble gets recorded, with the ability to track makes and misses automatically in shooting activities. It features real-time audio and video feedback too, as the app adjusts to how you play, from release speed to shooting arc to backspin. Up your playground game with daily tracking and over 50 drills and competitions.
ZEPP Golf 3D Swing Analyzer ($149.95)
The perfect swing doesn’t just happen — so record and analyze your swing from every angle in HD video. The app lets you track club head speed, the swing plane, hand path and tempo and more and see it on your phone (iOS/Android). Just attach it to your golf glove so it can wirelessly send data after every swing. You can even compare your swing directly to PGA Tour Pros in 3D and watch training tips and drills.
Shockbox Football Helmet Sensor ($179.99)
Football players get hit hard. And the potential for head injuries is reason enough for concern. Players and coaches need information, and this is a good way to get it. Insert the Shockbox Football Helmet Sensor in any helmet, and it will wirelessly transmit an alert (300 foot+ reception range) if the sensors consider the impact too hard. The app (iOS/Android/Blackberry) also details exactly what to look out for.
Mio Fuse Heart Rate Training Band ($149)
Some of would rather not focus on a particular sport, rather fitness in general. Capture your entire daily performance and track your heart rate — no chest strap required, thanks to optical technology that senses blood volume under the skin. With features of a sports watch, a customizable display in concert with a smartphone app (iOS/Android), tracks movement and calories expended. Heart rate configurable zones can be created and synced to bike computers and GPS watches as well. Additionally the FUSE can be synced with dozens of third-party fitness apps.
Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology, gadget and lifestyle writer based on the West Coast.