Fitness wearables are great for broad, generalized activity tracking — they count your steps and measure your heart rate just fine — but when it comes to more specialized forms of fitness, they sometimes fall flat. Take vertical jumping, for instance. It’s hard to measure for a wearable strapped to your wrist or waist, and even harder for said wearable measure precisely. That’s where the Vert Jump Bluetooth monitor comes in: It’s a fitness tracker that accurately records jump metrics.
The Jump’s quite small (roughly the size of a matchbox, give or tack), and clips either onto a waistband or into a “VertBelt” strap accessory. It’s unobtrusive, but manages to pack an impressive range of sensors and chip: three high-precision gyroscopes and an onboard processor dedicated to calculating directional movement.
Just what jump metrics does the Jump measure, exactly? Plenty: the degree of vertical motion in any given direction, maximum vertical height, highest vertical jump, average vertical jump over a session, and total jump count. The Jump’s able to collect that data in real time, the company said, thanks to proprietary algorithms that process 50 simulations simultaneously. Readings are displayed on the Jump’s inbuilt OLED monitor, plus optionally relayed to a companion app. Soon, it’ll be viewable on smartwatches such as the Apple Watch, Pebble smartwatches, and Android Wear devices, a feature that Vert says will be of particular benefit to watchful coaches.
“As athletes … continue to intensify their training on a year-round basis, coaches, parents and players alike have come to understand the importance of safe practices,” Vert said in a statement. “For those who participate in sports that require explosive jumping movements like volleyball, basketball, and track and field, there was previously no efficient way to monitor the frequency or intensity of those jumps to ensure safe injury preventative practice habits.”
The Jump may be a relatively new fitness tracker, but its got street cred. It’s been used to show jump statistics on stadium Jumbotrons, and was showcased at a nationally-televised NCAA volleyball match earlier this year.
“We are looking forward to incorporating the data that Vert aggregates into our coverage of the NCAA championship in order to better educate the volleyball fandom on the true athleticism of these student athletes along with the incredible stamina it takes to play this beautiful game,” said Meg Aronowitz, coordinating producer at ESPN & SEC Network, in a press release.
The Jump retails for $125, and is available now at Vert’s website. The companion app’s only on iOS for now, but the company says an Android-compatible version’s set for launch later this year.