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New Release: Does The World Really Need This $4,000 Smart Basketball Hoop?

We’re going to just come right out and say it: not everything has to be smart. Some household staples — like a toilet, blender or garbage can— can stay dumb, they work just fine that way.

You don’t need 21st century technology to get certain jobs done and in fact some things are more efficient on a simpler device. Is shooting a few hoops in the driveway one of those jobs? According to the makers of Huupe, a new $4,000 smart basketball hoop, the answer is no.

After testing the best fitness mirrors, a variety of spin bikes and even smart rowers, we’ve learned that smart fitness equipment can definitely have its perks. Larger screens can be great for streaming immersive boutique studio-style classes at home and certain AI form-correcting technology can replace the guiding presence of an in-person professional instructor. However, I’m skeptical that attaching a giant, pricey screen to a basketball hoop is going to deliver the same results.

The Huupe is currently available to pre-order, with estimated delivery in 6-18 months.

Read More: The Best Basketball Sneakers of 2022

Huupe’s Tech is Impressive, But Do We Need It?

The Huupe is a regulation-size basketball hoop with a weatherproof HD screen you can use to complete workouts taught by NBA skills trainers, practice fundamentals with AI-driven performance analysis and even watch the game via any streaming network.

It looks great, and does have some functionality that could improve technique for the right player. This includes:

  • Structured drills where makes and misses are tracked
  • Shot trajectory
  • Shot chart after every session, so you can mark your progress
  • Vertical jump and wingspan measurement

However, basketball form and skill is much more individual than what a proper squat or deadlift looks like. Sure there are standard best practices when it comes to elbow placement and knee drive, but a great shot can look different person to person.

I’m also not convinced a camera at the top of a tall structure like a basketball hoop could pick up the subtle infractions needed to make sizable differences in someone’s ability to sink a basket, especially one from the top of the key. Certainly not convinced enough to justify a $4,000 price tag.

As with all needlessly complex tech that’s overpriced, someone will definitely be interested in this. I’m intrigued to see how it plays out, and hope that I’m proven wrong.