The charity shot, aka the free throw in basketball, can and has made the difference between a world championship and an ugly bridesmaid standing at the altar. Free throws win games. Free throws win championships.
There’s a little company in Sunnyvale, Calif., called Vibrado Technologies. It’s designed a sleeve that goes around your arm to help you shoot the the ball correctly and more accurately. The sleeve runs from the back of the hand all the way up to the upper bicep. It can be used to rehabilitate free throw motion, or any other shot for that matter. And, yes, there’s an app to store and analyze shot performance.
And shooting hoops is hard. Even when free throws are free of distractions, pro players make only about 75 percent of their shots.
The Vibrado sleeve has embedded within it sensors that measure the arc, angle, and momentum of the shot.
My high school basketball coach used to yell at me because I couldn’t remember to keep my elbow in while shooting. I also often forgot to follow through on my shots. If I had been wearing the sleeve, I would have seen blinking lights and heard beeps when my form went all janky.
At any rate, Vibrado’s sleeve looked a bit over-specialized for mass market appeal until today. The company has raised $1.4 million of a $1.5 million venture funding round, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Among the investors are Keith Rabois of Khosla Ventures.
The filing does not say who the other investors are, but it does say that Vibrado paid someone $31,250 to go out and find them.
The new funding may mean that Vibrado is now thinking about addressing larger markets with its wearable sensor technology. For instance, the sleeve might be used to improve other sports motions like tennis or golf swings.
We’ve not been able to reach Vibrado for comment today.