When it comes to sporting equipment, it's usually safe to say the “smarter” the better, but basketball has been lacking in smart equipment. Finnish sports analytics company, SportIQ, may change that by developing a basketball that can collect shooting statistics such as spin rate, shot form, makes, and misses without any assistance from a camera. The challenges of implementing tracking equipment into a basketball are unique as a game-ready ball requires a very specific set of properties and includes a thin exterior with an interior of pressurized air. This makes housing electronics in the ball particularly difficult, but SportIQ appears to have found a way to overcome these challenges, creating the first game-ready smart basketball to receive FIBA approval. Now the company is ready to ramp up production as it moves out of beta testing and makes its basketball available throughout the U.S. and prepares for the return of organized sports leagues.
As for patents, it would appear that SportIQ is assigned none. Look deeper though and you’ll discover that SportIQ is actually just a marketing name for the company SstatzZ Oy. This is where things get even more impressive for the Finnish sports analytics company as it has shown significant patent investment since it was founded in 2008. In total, the company is assigned 26 patent assets in the sector with publications dating back to late 2013. This might not put it as one of the top assignees in the sector, but between the sheer number of patents, the variety, and the early priority dates, it is pretty impressive for a company that has only received just under $1 million of pre-seed funding and provides the company with a strong base to build upon. Especially when considering the company is just starting to offer its game-ready product worldwide.
The combination of being a first in the industry and having a strong patent portfolio lead Patent Forecast® to predicts a strong outlook for the company. If it is able to successfully scale operations and raise large amounts of capital in upcoming funding rounds, you could soon see SportIQ basketballs in most games and practice facilities worldwide with the global market of hundreds of millions of players ready for meaningful data at affordable prices.
For updates on SportIQ product developments and outlook, follow the Sports Analytics Patent Forecast®!