LAS VEGAS—Now, here’s a wearable that proves with stunning accuracy (and crushing shame) that I have the vertical leaping ability of a 7-year-old boy. The Vert wearable jump monitor straps to your waist, and sends key vertical leaping data to your smartphone, tablet, and even a small range of smartwatches.
The $125 wearable is available now, and can measure your jump rate (how many leaps in a specific time period), maximum jump height, and average jump height over a training session or game. For basketball players—and even volleyball players, hurdle jumpers, and martial artists—Vert can provide useful real-time data for improving one’s leaping abilities.
An accompanying mobile app shows you a wide range of data views, and also includes a social media function to share your highest leaps with friends. Or who knows, when you viciously slam-dunk in the face of an opposing player, you may want to share sensor-driven evidence of that too. Because, hoops, yo.
But it gets even cooler: The NCAA has already sanctioned the use of Vert monitors in games, allowing fans to see the vertical leaping stats of various women’s volleyball players. There’s also a special $100 coaching platform that allows coaches to track the leaps of six players at a time.
Why this matters: Wearables are entering their 2.0 phase. Simple activity-tracking wristbands have become ho-hum commodities, and now much more mission-specific wearables are emerging to somehow—maybe, possibly—find a willing, eager audience. Obviously, very few people need a vertical leap monitor. But if you play basketball or volleyball, you may soon become obsessed with a gadget like Vert.
Jon has been covering all manner of consumer hardware since 1995. He brought the Bitchin'fast!3D2000 to market in 1999, and has ran MaximumPC, Mac|Life, Mobile, Greenbot and Macworld, among other consumer tech magazines and websites.