Sports Illustrated reports that there is now a “Smart Sensor” basketball(94Fifty) full of God-only-knows what kind of sensors, nine of ‘em, complete with circuit board, battery pack and Bluetooth relay—don’t ask—which will do amazing things for your mastery of the game. These sensors are processing whatever it is that’s happening with the ball, at your direction, of course, and they’re doing it in milliseconds…as opposed to your coach yelling from the sidelines, presumably. The sensors recharge as the ball sits on its very own pedestal. This gizmo can measure backspin and arc on the ball and analyze the ballhandling being utilized, then spit it out at you from your cell phone or other PDA( personal digital assistant). The voice that does this is said to resemble that of the President of the U.S. New applications and programs are just waiting to be developed by some pointy-headed computer dudes.
The company, called Infomation(sic), which came up with this marvel is also working on a “live-game “ experience in which the ball can be “ used in competition, allowing coaches, and broadcasters”, not to mentioned fans, to track the data, using screens of their own. Oh, and balls for other sports are in development too.
The levels of competency are listed as: playground, prep star, college star, pro. All this for only $295. Charge it to your first contract with the Big Guys.
One of the chief things that I have got from technology lately—other than the capability to send this off to The Villager without moving from my chair and keeping a copy without the curse of carbon paper(Remember that stuff? Dreadful! Dreadful! And don’t get me started on ditto masters or mimeograph machines. No more typing erasers or razor blades to repair major goofs. Hallelujah!)—is a chorus…or symphony, on some occasions…of little electronic noises in the house. I get it that one of my cheap watches issues a modest beep on the hour(Good thing that I’m not sneaking up on anybody in the dead of night very often) and others have their own sounds for inadvertently-set alarms which I don’t know how to shut off without messing up the time setting. I understand that the oven lets me know when the temperature in the oven has reached the desired level, although I’m a little suspicious that it really hasn’t and I need to get an oven thermometer to check up on it. It’s doing what it can.
Every so often the timer in my QuizBowl bag goes off, having been started up by being bumped around in going from the car to some competition or practice. Something in the dining room buffet pings at me in random fashion; it only pings once, does it while I am otherwise occupied and can’t determine where it has come from, then “plays possum” until some new moment when I can’t track it down. The handy-dandy timer on the nightstand goes off sometimes when I scuffle my feet on the rug or punch up the heat on the electric mattress pad. Electricity issues. Something in the car will make a very muted ding to let all and sundry know that the radio and/or CD player are set to explode or commit suicide or something, should anyone try to rip them out of the dash. And the smoke alarms have a sworn duty to let me know if anything untoward is going on, inflammability-wise. They’ve apparently cottoned on to the fact that burnt toast and/or the remains of that over-full cherry-raspberry pie on the bottom of the oven do not constitute a mortal danger…or maybe I’ve just gotten better at keeping these from being a factor(I have a congenital defect which causes me to put WAY too much fruit in pies). Anyway, I checked their batteries and they’re feeling better now .
And, lastly, on the technology front…. Some forward-thinking individuals are contemplating the development of garments that would produce electricity for personal use—cell phone, ipad, etc—generated by motion of certain body parts or wearable solar arrays. So far, it’s a bust.