Jeremy Lin, Steve Nash, and Mark Cuban Invested in The iPhone App Making the NBA Smarter With Artificial Intelligence

It is nice to see Mark Cuban tweeted a Wall Street Journal article with Jeremy Lin on the cover about the NBA’s next big thing from a new iPhone up for basketball training using Artificial Intelligence.

The HomeCourt app also has the backing of people at the highest levels of basketball. Lin, two-time NBA most valuable player Steve Nash, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie are investors.

Jeremy Lin has no idea how many shots it took for him to become a professional basketball player.

“A lot,” he says.

There is nothing unusual about how little he knows about his own history. Almost everyone in the NBA today came of age in the final years that sports were more art than science. But the game has been transformed since then. A technological revolution has swept through basketball and made it possible for high-schoolers to have more data about themselves than even the most progressive NBA teams had until recently.

HomeCourt app comes from a tech company focused on mobile artificial intelligence that was founded not long ago by former Apple engineers who were obsessed with basketball and have spent the last year developing the sort of weapon that Jeremy Lin never had.

NBA arenas and practice facilities these days are laboratories that happen to be gyms. They are equipped with the kinds of high-resolution cameras and sophisticated tracking sensors that have dramatically changed the way basketball is played over the last decade.

This app requires a phone and basketball hoop. That’s it.

HomeCourt lets artificial intelligence and computer vision take care of the rest. Say you take 100 shots in a typical shooting session. The app can tell you how many shots you made and the precise location of each of those shots. It also lets you watch individual clips of any of those shots in real time or slow motion. With nothing but an iPhone camera, it turns any ordinary workout into a trove of personal data.

Inspiring Invention Story

The story of how co-founder David Lee invented the app after a lousy shooting during basketball pickup game in front of his wife and daughter is quite interesting. He managed to turn one bad shooting night into an AI-powered mobile app that might have potential for youth basketball training and even other sports (i.e. soccer, football, baseball, golf, tennis and even yoga)

The idea for HomeCourt came to co-founder David Lee not long after he left Apple, where he worked for nearly a decade after his online spreadsheet company was acquired. One day last year, Lee convinced his wife and young daughter to come watch him play in his regular pickup basketball game. His performance left something to be desired.

“I couldn’t make a shot in front of them,” Lee said.

When he decided to prove to his family that he wasn’t terrible at basketball, he figured that not even the people closest to him would sit through another whole game. “But can I make my phone understand the game and then cut highlights so I can show my wife?” he thought.

As it turned out, he could. He turned his lousy shooting night into his next startup.

Now you can know. The app lets users record 300 shots per month—a subscription to the unlimited version is available for $7.99 per month—and spits out elaborate shot charts and individual clips that are spliced automatically for immediate viewing. HomeCourt’s engineers are now experimenting with more technical features. They have begun training the AI to recognize details of any given shot as granular as someone’s release time and vertical jump.

They say the biggest market for HomeCourt is not the NBA. It’s youth sports.

NBA Application

It is impressive to learn NBA players have been using iPhones and iPads to record their summer workouts with this app. Jeremy Lin proves to be one of savvy NBA investors among the well-known names of Steve Nash, Mark Cuban, and Sam Hinkie.

There might be a day when the complete records of an NBA prospect include advanced game numbers, precise body measurements and thousands of practice shots logged by artificial intelligence. It’s starting to happen now. NBA players have been putting iPhones and iPads on tripods to record their summer workouts with this app.

So much has changed since anyone Jeremy Lin’s age was still in high school, when the iPhone didn’t exist and student managers kept stats using the ancient instruments otherwise known as pencil and paper, that he might as well have been playing with dinosaurs.

Jeremy Lin is 29 years old.

Source: WSJ: “The iPhone App Making the NBA Smarter With Artificial Intelligence”