Marissa Wu, an engineering student at the University of Toronto, explained she thinks of Onyx Motion as a learning company, and the first application just happens to be for basketball. There isn’t necessarily a dearth of tracking or coaching apps for this particular sport, but there aren’t really any that work with a smart wearable for player feedback or metrics.
Swish does what we’d expect: It tracks shots and accuracy, provides a training log and calendar, and slaps you with an effort score based on your metrics. Thankfully, Swish gets a little more specific than a standard sport tracker, otherwise you could just swap shots with hits and this would be too much like what’s already available. The app can help users improve things like jump timing and arc angle. It will combine these stats to generate custom tips and how-to’s.
What really makes Swish shine is the connection it can provide amateurs to basketball pros. Via Motion Marketplace, players can buy and download coaching modules from some of the best players in the NBA. The big name on board at the moment is Ben Gordon, recently waived by the Orlando Magic after playing for the Pistons and the Bulls over the course of his ongoing career.
How long before Jordan starts working with Nike on Swoosh? Oh wait, Jordan already did a basketball training app, and it doesn’t do what Swish can do. Hopefully Swish hits its Indiegogo numbers. They’re asking for $10,000 to launch the Android Wear app and develop for the Apple Watch, in addition to starting to focus on other sports. Onyx Motion got its seed funding from UTEST (University of Toronto Early Stage Technology), theNext36, a Canadian nonprofit, and MaRS innovation, since it was founded in August 2014 by Wu and Vivek Kesarwani.
Onyx Motion doesn’t currently have any plans to take advantage of non-wearables like smart basketballs at the moment, but Wu said they’d love to, and apps can grow and change with time. The company has already prototyped golf and tennis, so it will be interesting to see how they stand up against a market already saturated with apps and smart gear for those sports. For now, Onyx Motion has something interesting with Swish.