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ShotTracker Nets $10.4 Million in Series A Funding

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Basketball analytics company ShotTracker announced it had raised $10.4 million in Series A funding on Wednesday. This round of funding brings the total investment in the five-year-old startup to $21 million.

The ShotTracker system monitors the location of the players and the ball on a basketball court using a sensor installed in a Spalding basketball and sensors worn by the athletes. Those devices communicate back to other sensors installed high above in the rafters of a stadium.

It has been used by the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship for the past two years. Through the ShotTracker app, fans watching that tournament could view real-time shooting statistics, and even see maps of where all the players were on the court. The system is also being used by major college programs including Kansas and Oklahoma, giving coaches access to detailed player statistics.

Alongside investment firm Ward.Ventures, former NBA commissioner David Stern put up capital in the most recent round. Hall of Famer and five time NBA champion Magic Johnson has previously invested in ShotTracker.

“This additional funding allows ShotTracker to execute on its vision and accelerate the proliferation of our product across the market,” said Davyeon Ross, co-founder and COO of ShotTracker, in a statement. “There are significant changes happening in sports and ShotTracker is poised to capitalize on those industry changes with its real-time data.”

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SportTechie Takeaway

This round of funding almost doubles ShotTracker’s existing investment, and could help position the company to dominate the basketball analytics ecosystem below the pros. There are thousands of college and youth teams across the U.S., and those levels represent a far bigger consumer base than the NBA.

Instead of ShotTracker, the NBA currently uses Second Spectrum’s player tracking technology during games. That uses cameras placed high up above the court, and crunches the images into data using computer vision to determine the locations of players. Prior to last season, the NBA used STATS’s similar SportVU system. Sports equipment manufacturer Wilson also makes a consumer product, the Wilson X, to compete with ShotTracker, but that only tracks the ball, and not the players.

Via Sporttechie

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Nintendo Filed a Trademark Application for Its N64 Classic Console

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Fans of the Nintendo gaming family may be getting some welcomed news in the coming weeks ahead with the potential release of its popular Nintendo 64 Classic console. The multinational electronics giant has already taken steps to ignite its loyal following, announcing the return of the NES Classic next month, along with a restock of its SNES counterpart, and would surely add fuel to the fire if the aforementioned rumor holds true.

According to Digital Trends, Nintendo recently filed a trademark application for the N64, including information on the software, controllers and the console itself. Although the trademark application offers no guarantee of the system’s arrival, the timing of the process raises speculation, given that the Electronic Entertainment Expo is but a mere few weeks away. While still speculative for the time being, be sure to check back for future updates on this emerging story.

In other gaming news, Razer updates its Blade to create the perfect gaming laptop.

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Via Hypebeast

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RED Will Link up With Lucid on an 8K 3D Camera for the Hydrogen One Smartphone

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Ever since RED first announced news of its holographic-enabled Hydrogen One smartphone, anxious consumers far and wide have been chomping at the bit to learn more about this potential game-changing device. With that in mind, the company has detailed its collaborative effort alongside Lucid, as the duo look to create an 8K, 3D prosumer camera that will work in tandem with the smartphone.

The gizmo will host a pair of 4K cameras that can convert images and video into 8K, providing users the option to display the images on the phone’s holographic display and/or upload to either YouTube or Facebook. Meant to look like other signature RED cameras, the phone can easily attach itself to the camera and act as its add-on display, allowing users to “view the content immediately in 3D/4V without headsets, said Lucid CEO Han Jin.

As far as general phone specs go, the Hydrogen One comes equipped with a 5.7-inch QHD screen, Snapdragon 835 chip, 4,500 mAh battery, USB Type-C port, a headphone jack and much more.

In case you missed it earlier, the Blloc is the smartphone for minimalists.

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Via Hypebeast

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Amazon & Jeff Bezos Under Fire for “Powering a Government Surveillance Infrastructure”

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Amazon premiered its image recognition service, Rekognition, in late 2016, part of its Amazon Web Services cloud computing package. It then began promoting the technology to law enforcement agencies, claiming that Rekognition could aid in criminal investigations by automatically identifying suspect’s faces in photographs.

Though its proponents support the service’s crime-fighting capabilities, critics assert that the tech giant is essentially peddling a tool of mass surveillance with access to databases hosting millions of cached photographs. In response, the American Civil Liberties Union and over two dozen other civil rights organizations have released a letter dedicated to Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos, stating that “Amazon Rekognition is primed for abuse in the hands of governments … [there is] the possibility that those labeled suspicious by governments — such as undocumented immigrants or Black activists — will be targeted for Rekognition surveillance.” The letter goes on to point out that because there are essentially “no meaningful restrictions on how governments can use Rekognition,” Amazon’s service could pose a major threat against personal privacy.

Read the open letter in full over on the ACLU’s website. For more information on how the service works, check out an Amazon spokesperson breaking down the technology’s capabilities below.

Not so long ago, Amazon faced similar scrutiny for being labeled one of America’s most dangerous workplaces.

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Via Hypebeast

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