Basketball gets playful upgrade thanks to smart backboard

Huupe is the world’s first smart basketball hoop.

Basketball is about to get a serious upgrade with a new smart digital hoop that can track your baskets, offer on demand training, and even let you play live with other people around the world.

“The backboard has been the same for years, it’s never been revolutionized, it’s never been changed,” said Lyth Saeed, co-founder of huupe, a startup in Huntington Beach.

The smart basketball hoop has gone through several prototypes, but now they’ve settled on a working model.

“It’s a screen behind tempered glass and then there’s 3 cameras on top to track everything you do on court,” said Saeed. “We track your makes, misses, swishes, trajectory, vertical jump and more.”

The idea came to the two friends when they tried playing basketball across the miles.

“We used to record shots from a thousand miles away and play horse against each other literally from Boston and Milwaukee,” said co-founder Paul Anton.

The toughest part of building a smart basketball hoop: getting people to believe it’s possible, especially since you’re throwing a ball at a TV screen.

“When you’re building the world’s first of anything, people are really skeptical they don’t know if it’s possible, so you have to be able to show it and prove it,” said Anton.

The adjustable, weatherproof, digital hoop lets you play fun games like how many shots you can sink in a minute.

There’s also on demand training classes and you can stream the game on the backboard while you play.

Cameras track your performance and let you play with other huupe users anywhere.

huupe co-founders Lyth Saeed and Paul Anton

“The camera in the middle actually streams between two hoops so you can watch your opponent take their shots as you do as well,” said Saeed.

The backboard is currently on pre-order for $3,995 and a monthly membership runs $29.99.

“We’re going to connect the entire world through basketball,” said Anton.

Huupe’s founders tell me there is a lot of interest from high profile buyers and they do believe that price will eventually come down.

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