Norwegian outfit Playfinity has launched an Indiegogo project this morning to fund Backyard League. Aimed at kids, this is a connected baseball and league designed to encourage young ones to play.
It is fair to say that baseball has been behind the curve when it comes to smart technology for amateurs. There have been a few products but not many and nothing really aimed at kids. The latter is one of the things that makes Backyard League so unique. It is not for adults.
The product has several aspects to it.
For starters, the Bluetooth gaming baseball keeps tabs on catches, drops and other metrics. To this end you can see how you are performing on the field.
But the product goes way beyond simply spitting out performance metrics. It is more about the fun element and encouraging kids to practice, play and spend more time with their friends. And let’s face it, when you’re young that should be what sport is all about – enjoyment rather than anything else.
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To this end there are in-app games such as Fast Throw, Pop Fly, Precision Catch and Higher And Higher. These can help kids practice different skills and provide them with feedback on how they are improving. The software generates crowd noises and encouragement so your kids can star in the own baseball game.
As its name implies, the other aspect of Baseball League is competitive in nature. If your little one chooses to participate, there are various global leaderboards they can join. Then they can see how they stack up against others and try to move up the leaderboards. Users can join the competitions safely and anonymously – so no personal details are needed to register.
The baseball itself is MLB regulation size and weight – there is absolutely no difference so 9 inches and 5 ounces. But there is smart tech hidden inside alongside a battery which can keep the thing going for 70 hours between charges. Playfinity says the ball is durable so you need not worry that it will get damaged easily.
To us this sounds like an interesting project. Statistics show that kids are participating in sports less and less. For example, a recent survey by Aspen Institute’s “Project Play” shows that around 38% of kids between 6 and 12 play team sports regularly. This is down 7% from 10 years earlier. Most kids today quit playing a sport by age 11 and that should be a worry.
Are over-zealous parents who are making sports less fun to blame? Perhaps. No doubt, technology is also partly to blame. But perhaps technology has the answer to the problem. Any product that has the potential to reverse a decline in youth sports has our support.
Backyard League is available on Indiegogo from today for a budget-friendly $69. The retail launch is expected by October 1st at which point it will revert to $129.95.
Price:$69 and up
31 days left
Estimated delivery: September 2021
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