94Fifty Sensor Basketball Project

November 4, 2013

SJC graduates and former SJC basketball players Mike Crowley '93 and Mark Davisson '93 started a company called InfoMotion Sport Technology.

Crowley, a graduate in Accounting, is the founder/CEO of the company, and Davisson, a graduate in Computer Science, is the president. They sponsored the Technology Room at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference in Boston in March 2013 and were swamped by the media, top executives from ESPN, Disney, NBA, Media, Nike and others. They have introduced a new technology for a basketball product called "94Fifty." 94Fifty is the dimension of a basketball court. The ball has sensors embedded in it, which measures the motion of the ball and then algorithms translate the motion into ball handling and shooting skills.

Video shows how the ball works: http://kck.st/VzCbyT 

InfoMotion demonstrated the 94Fifty ball at the MIT conference, a great prelude to their new "KICKSTART" program. This project has a lot of potential for academics as well as athletics. This project spans and links many disciplines: Athletics, Business, Physics, Math, and Computer Science.

SJC Professor of Mathematics Dr. Karen Donnelly had Mark Davisson as a student when she was a member of the Computer Science Department. She recalls: "I did have Mark Davisson in a number of classes when he was here as a Computer Science major. Mark was a great student in class, and always demonstrated an eagerness to learn about the new ideas in computing. Believe it or not, the internet was pretty new then, and I think he could see its potential early on. Thus I am not surprised that he is involved with this innovative project."

For more information on InfoMotion Sports Technology, contact Tom Crowley, Chairman of the Board, 239.641.0070, Tom@Crowleysite.com .

Small selection of media coverage for 94Fifty Sensor Basketball Project:

ESPN (Made the front page of ESPN.com on March 3)
http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/  

USA Today (Print and Online)
http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/hiestand-biz/2013/02/28/basketball-technology-bluetooth-ncaa/1954641/ 

NBC News: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/50973713/ 

CBS News: http://markets.cbsnews.com/cbsnews/news/read/23562426/ 

Yahoo Finance: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/invensense-powers-breakthrough-basketball-analysis-080100300.html 

Sports Business Daily
https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2013/02/28/Marketing-and-Sponsorship/Smart-BBall.aspx  

More About Science and Technology at SJC

  • SJC's small size allows faculty to be mentors, resulting in very successful alumni--we have many successes for our small size.
  • SJC athletes tie their academics to their sport.
  • Unlike many colleges, SJC has more female faculty in STEM (at SJC: Science, Technology, Math) than males.

The Mathematics Department at SJC has been active in using technology (Vernier data acquisition) to model real-time data mathematically. We were one of 30 out of 2000 applicants to receive a grant from Vernier Technology and also received another grant last year from the Indiana Space Grant Consortium to support our work.

Projectile motion is a key application in Calculus for us. We have had projects where the students model motion of basketballs, softballs, and shot puts. In 2013, two students are working on analyzing the flight of a golf ball. Other students are working on the modeling the effect of wind on the flight of a softball.

Students who are athletes particularly enjoy tying their academic work to their sport. For these we used the video analysis feature of Logger Pro where you can trace the path of the objects frame by frame and use the Logger Pro software to analyze the position, velocity, and acceleration.

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