Mar 31 AT 12:30 PM Clark Wimberly 19 Comments

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

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:

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.

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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