Android and Me

A Nerf ball with 9-axis inertial sensing motion processing with integrated Bluetooth? There’s an app for that.

3 years ago 19

File this under things you didn’t know existed but now that you do you totally want one. We were just emailed a video of someone demonstrating Perfect Spiral Trainer, an app powered by what the guy is calling his Replay Football system, which tracks a modified Nerf ball in-flight and reports back all sorts of interesting data via Bluetooth.

Uhhh, what? Just watch video below:

Watch on YouTube

From the YouTube page and original creator:

It employs a Nerf football with a 9-axis motion sensing pack and a visualization / throw analysis application on an Android platform. The football transmits real-time motion data via Bluetooth. A Motorola Droid 2 was used for the Android platform. The sensor pack is by InvenSense.

Once a throw/catch pair have been detected, the football graphic turns red and the program enters replay mode. To replay the throw, the user performs a tap motion on the screen to start playback. The throw release speed, time in flight, RPM of spiral and spiral wobble (precession) are all displayed during playback. The 3 graphs ( from top to bottom) display the raw data from the Accelerometer, Gyro, and Magnetometer respectively. A long-press on the screen resets the state back to ‘green’ to accept a new throw for analysis.

We ran into the team from InvenSense back at CES in January and were impressed with a bunch of the stuff they were working on. They’re working on a whole range of sensors and middleware for tracking movement in the real world and this football application is a solid demo of that- even if it is just for fun.

What other crazy real-world motion tracking applications do you guys think we’ll see in the future? It’s quite a shift to start imagining for things that don’t particularly involve my phone itself moving but it’s a shift I think I could get used to.