Although Shane Wighton might have something to say about the creators of the Huupe claiming it’s “the world’s first smart basketball hoop,” the device looks like it could be an interesting (and equally expensive) alternative to Peloton’s offerings for those who prefer to shoot hoops to exercise instead of cycling without going anywhere.
Although it’s genuinely surprising that the NBA hasn’t replaced regulation backboards with giant screens running advertisements targeting players (would it be any more of a distraction than the clear backboards the league uses now?) the Huupe brings a more convincing case as to why you’d want to upgrade the basketball hoop and backboard in your driveway with this $4,000 alternative.
In addition to a giant hi-def screen that’s both completely weatherproofed and reinforced so that the first shot you take doesn’t shatter the panel, the Huupe is also equipped with wifi (meaning you’ll want to make sure your home’s network reliably reaches the driveway), shot-tracking sensors, and a webcam allowing players take part in pre-recorded workouts and drills, or live sessions with an on-screen trainer providing tips on the finer points of draining the hoop.
The backboard and hoop’s sensors can keep tabs on a shooter’s percentages and through the webcam, it can even detect where on the court each shot is being made. All of that data is available through an accompanying mobile app that also serves as a wireless remote for the big screen.
The webcam also facilitates competitions against friends who can’t be on the same court as you, allowing games of H-O-R-S-E or timed competitions to be enjoyed with someone on the other side of the planet, which actually sounds kind of neat. And for those times when you’re feeling active but also want a distraction, the Huupe promises access to a long list of streaming services so you could even enjoy watching an NBA game while working on your three-pointers.
Although the creators of the Huupe aren’t officially going the Kickstarter route, they are currently raising funds through $100 pre-orders to help fund the manufacturing process. As a result, delivery isn’t actually expected for another 16 to 18 months, which means that those who pre-order won’t get their Huupes until well into the Summer of 2023, and possibly even later if supply chain issues continue. The pre-orders are refundable, however, so while there are always risks of backing products that technically don’t exist yet, at least the creators of the Huupe aren’t asking for the $4,000 upfront.