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Wirelessly charging a sensor-ized basketball

Wireless basketball

It can be a stretch sometimes to understand the technological justification for wireless charging. At a time when power efficiency is an important societal goal, wireless-charging technology is pretty inefficient.

The Bluetooth-enabled, sensor-equipped 94Fifty basketball makes a good case for wireless charging: Nobody wants a power connector on their smart basketball.

Why put sensors on a ball?

We asked the same thing 5 years ago when we were working to determine how best to measure important elements of skill. It turns out that the ball is simply a receiver of force, and those forces are applied by the player.  It goes where the player tells it to go. By measuring all the forces put into or taken out of the ball, and the consistency at which the player can apply forces at game speed, we actually get an amazing picture of how well that player can perform under pressure. 

The ball uses the Qi wireless charging technology. Sensor data shows up on a smart phone app.


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