Athletes have long looked to technology to gain an edge over their opponents on the sporting field. Having taken to the court with its ConnectedX Basketball, Wilson is now running onto the football field with the Wilson X Connected Football that tracks a variety of metrics to help budding quarterbacks improve their arm.
With built-in accelerometers, the Wilson X Connected Football measures ball velocity, distance, spin rate, spiral efficiency and catch/drop percentage, and sends the details through to the Wilson X companion app via Bluetooth. From within the app (available for iOS and Android), users are able to track their statistics, play a set of games, and compare scores on online leaderboards.
These statistics are also rolled into one all-encompassing quarterback score, which can be shared with friends and family, or hidden away if it turns out your arm is less Friday Night Lights and more Little League.
According to Wilson, the ball's built-in battery will last more than 500 hours, which is enough to make 200,000 passes. Unfortunately, when those passes have been made there's no way to replace the battery, leaving you with a very expensive piece of pigskin. To make sure this limited battery life isn't wasted, the ball only turns on when the user holds it in a certain position, waits for two seconds and then flips it over.
The Wilson X Connected Football comes in Official and Junior sizes, both priced at US$199, which also includes a copy of Madden NFL '17 for xbox one or PS4. That's pretty pricey for a football, but Wilson points out it also "functions as a Wilson Football" when not connected to the app.