In The Future, ArcAid Will Prepare You For The All-Star Three-Point Shootout (Maybe)

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Wilt Chamberlain. Shaquille O’Neal. Dwight Howard. Three of NBA history’s most physically-gifted specimens used their mass and athletic prowess to muscle their into the paint and score high-percentage buckets, leaving the opposition no positive means of stopping them—that is, until they start fouling. When this happens, all of their herculean attributes go out the window for one reason: these guys are terrible at free throw shooting.
 
Heck, Chamberlain used to take off from a standstill at the charity stripe and dunk it just so he didn’t have to attempt a free throw, but of course the league put a rule in place to negate such actions. However, thanks to the ever-advancing world of technology, there’s an app that will help you improve on your jumper in more ways than one.
 
 
 Photo: Engadget
 
ArcAid is the latest innovation from Cambridge Consultants. It’s an app that’s currently in its development stages and is meant to help you master your jump shot to the best of your abilities. The concept is based on a combination of low-cost sensors (take notes, $300-dollar “smart” basketball) and a mobile app that monitors performance.
 
The cameras follow the user and the ball during windup and release, telling you how to adjust your force and aim from wherever you are. Especially useful is the shot map, which colour-coordinates your hotspots around the court so you can track your success.
 
 Photo: Doug Aamoth/Time Magazine 
 
Apart from tweaking one’s follow-through, Ruth Thomson, head of consumer development at Cambridge Consultants, wants to emphasize the systems’ low barrier to entry. “We hope this cost-effective technology will encourage young people from a wide range of backgrounds to strive for excellence in sport,” she said. “By teaching proper technique and muscle memory at a younger age we can help develop the athletes of the future.”
 
For the right price, this may become a commonplace device on both driveways and in school stadiums. However, don’t expect for the average consumer to drop cash on ArcAid before the system gets a stamp of approval from the NBA or any professional basketball/athletic institution affiliated with the league. As with any new piece of basketball technology—from ArcAid to yesteryear’s Reebok Pumps—celebrity endorsement for a product that seeks widespread usage by fans is virtually mandatory. For example, it would have been almost inconceivable that anyone would have bought a pair of Nike Shox (a pioneering and outlandish concept at the time) had it not been for the high-flying antics of one Vincent Lamar Carter.
 
Photo: Doug Aamoth/Time Magazine 

But could ArcAid replace traditional free-throw training methods? Perhaps, but it’s more likely to be added into the mix of a typical shooting regimen. All in all, this is an innovative effort that shows a lot of promise, but it must receive endorsement from members of a professional rank in order for it to catch on with the average consumer, cost-friendly or not. Once it does that, it’s all net from there. Swish.

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