Sunday May 28th 2017

The Internet of Things wants to link all facets of our world

A 94Fifty looks like an ordinary basketball. You can inflate, dribble, pass, shoot, swoosh and slam-dunk it. But there’s more going on than meets the fingers.

During play, the ball records how hard and fast a person dribbles and throws. It also measures the arc of a shot. It sends the data to a user’s smartphone. This phone then uses an app to analyze a player’s game. Then the app offers tips for better ball handling or for improving three-point shots.

Will this ball help a driveway hotshot become the next LeBron James? It’s too soon to tell. But many experts think it may well be part of a revolution in technology.

The 94Fifty is a “smart” basketball. It gets its name from the dimensions of an NBA court: 94 feet by 50 feet (28.7 by 15 meters). The ball “observes” the world around it. It then can use these data to calculate things and provide useful information to help a player get better. It’s part of the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things is the idea that ordinary objects can be turned into “smart” objects that measure and interact with their environments. A smart refrigerator keeps track of what’s inside. A smart lightbulb turns itself off when not in use. A smart toilet flushes itself and texts a user if it springs a leak or is about to overflow. These devices might communicate with users through their smartphones or home computer networks.

 

Read more about the Internet of Things here.

 

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