New Apple Device Could Have Huge Impact On Basketball

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers is fouled by Gerald Henderson #9 of the Charlotte Bobcats late in the fourth quarter during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 14, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina - Streeter Lecka

When you can quantify everything, the data is going to be astounding.

Aside from Duke basketball, we do have other interests around here, including technology. Sometimes they even intersect.

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So we were intrigued to see that Apple appears to have recruited several high-level pro athletes to help test their upcoming iWatch, among them Kobe Bryant.

Bryant of course has said had he played college basketball he'd have gone to Duke (on other occasions he said it would've been UNC) and he did of course play for the Olympic team and Coach K.

The new device, from what's been reported and perhaps alleged, is interesting to say the least.

It supposedly has 10 sensors, many of which are likely to be health monitors of one sort or another.

The idea of having someone like Bryant test it is to really put it through its paces, obviously.

Apple has already announced a new app called Healthkit.

All of this is going to work together, of course - the device is expected to measure things like heart rates, blood pressure and perhaps oxygen levels.

What intrigues us here are a couple of things. First, simply the health applications. Having instant feedback on basic functions will be a real boon and should apply preventatively.

We expect that Apple will open an entirely new market segment: the elderly and the infirm, many of whom will have it subsidized by insurance companies, who will seize upon a chance to cut costs.

But it also opens up something for basketball and athletes in general.

We've gotten used to the analytics revolution and the cameras which monitor everything on the court.

Add in a very small portable device which monitors vital functions, combine that with clever developers measuring things like acceleration, air time, and perhaps hesitation in decision making and you'll have the capacity to measure subtleties which are currently unthinkable.

We can certainly see Duke, as a consistent early adapter of technology, picking up on this.

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