Wilson’s Connected Football is a $200 piece of smart pigskin

I feel the grouchy old man part of me (about 75-percent of me, at this point) starting to complaining about how in his day throwing the old football around was enough fun and we didn’t need to, well, gamify games. But who am I kidding? We played video games, too. And hey, if you can make throwing a ball even more fun, more power to you.

Earlier this year, sporting goods giant Wilson gave select press a sneak preview of its Connected Football. Like last year’s basketball, the Wilson X Connected Football
is, more or less, a standard sport ball with sensors built in to enhance the experience.

The on-board electronics record data for such key football throwing metrics as distance, velocity, spin rate, spiral, and how good a job players are doing holding onto the thing. That info is, naturally, transmitted to a mobile device via Bluetooth. There’s also a low-power on-board battery that should last around 500 hours of play, which apparently translates to 200,000 passes.

The gamification truly kicks in with the app, which ranks players against friends and larger leader boards. It’s up for pre-order
now for a not insignificant $200. It’ll hit retail a month from today — not coincidentally, the kickoff of the 2016 NFL season.