94Fifty
Smart
Basketball
Like Mike
by JONATHAN GALLEGOS




It seems like everything is becoming quantified these days: from connected homes to connected cars, it's easy to find everyday consumer items that are constantly gathering analytics. Not to be left out, the data-mining 94Fifty Bluetooth Sensor has made its way into one of America's most popular sports. 94Fifty Bluetooth Sensor Basketballs, are the first digital sports products to be embedded with inertial motion sensors, serving up coaches and players with various metrics concerning ballhandling, shooting, jump-explosion, defensive foot-speed agility and athleticism. The sensors even measure information that the eye doesn't see, like muscle memory, strong versus weak hand use and coordination.




CONTINUES BELOW 




Now, don't get the wrong idea: this isn't some pedometer bauble. Envision something more like I, Robot meets "Eye of the Tiger" meets NBA Jam. By utilizing the company's proprietary Point of Force measurement technologies, which include the aforementioned sensors as well as sophisticated counting algorithms that instantly measure over 6,000 pieces of data per second and derive consistent snapshots of how the player shoots, handles or moves with the ball, the 94Fifty proves itself a serious training tool. 


But it doesn't just track analytics. Personalized workouts, delivered through four accompanying apps (Quick Train, Workout, Compete and Challenge), bolster the deficit areas of a player's skill set. While Quick Train and Workout apps are based on skill development, the Compete and Challenge apps are particularly innovative. These allow players to compete with anyone around the world in real time, using Twitter to communicate the results (trash talk optional). Couple those apps with wireless charging, up to eight hours of battery life and a one-year warranty, and you've got the smartest basketball setup in the world. Before you send a tweet challenge to MJ, though, best get that crossover down. 


$300, 94fifty.com



THE BEST PORTABLE BLUETOOTH SPEAKERS
BEST TENNIS RACQUETS
BEST FITNESS TRACKERS
THE GP100 SPORTS INDUCTEES

STATEMENT

Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope. 


The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.



METHODOLOGY


The GP100 is not a contest influenced by marketers or brands, nor is it a ranking by specifications as determined by uniform tests. Instead, it starts with a comprehensive list of nominees released in the calendar year, researched and compiled by our editorial team of obsessed experts across all of Gear Patrol's major areas of interest including Motoring, Technology, Style, Home, Spirits, Outdoor and Watches. Brands are not part of the selection process. Nominees are then debated in context of the past, present and future of their respective fields. Which selections stand as significant innovations, category busters or faithful monuments to the icons of history? Do they adhere to Gear Patrol's core tenets of excellence, design, utility and the spirit of adventure? Distilled to the following 100 items, the GP100 represents the best products on earth released in 2013 -- easily inspiring consumers and creators alike during their search for guideposts of excellence in a vast world of products.


THE CATEGORIES


Motoring   Watches   Style   Technology   Sports   Outdoors   Home   Spirits

WRITERS


Jeremy Berger

Ben Bowers
Alex Bracetti
Nick Caruso
Ed Estlow
Jon Gaffney
Jonathan Gallegos
K.B. Gould
Bradley Hasemeyer
Jason Heaton
Mike Henson
Amos Kwon
Matt Neundorf
Scott Packard
Austin Parker
Henry Phillips
Peter Saltsman
Chris Wright
Eric Yang


CREDITS

Produced by Ben Bowers, Chris Wright, Eric Yang
Designed by Eric Yang
Edited by Chris Wright
Photography by Henry Phillips, Eric Yang
Special Thanks to Braun, Scroll Kit and Say Media

MEDIA RESOURCES

Inquiries, Corrections  support@gearpatrol.com
2014 Submissions  100@gearpatrol.com