Onyx Motion presents a wearable, portable and customizable basketball ‘coach’

Want to shoot hoops like Michael Jordan? Onyx Motion has got the app for you. The Toronto-based company has been developing ‘Swish’ for wearable devices to help players hit more net and throw up fewer air balls.

The idea behind the technology is to give normal people access to professional level coaching, without the high cost or intense time commitment, according to Marissa Wu, the co-founder and CEO of Onyx Motion. She’s also recently graduated from the University of Toronto.

“Swish is targeted for the average, recreational player,” says Wu. “It’s about giving people access to coaching where they otherwise wouldn’t.”

The app is being developed for aspiring basketball players, but is expected to branch out into other sports later on. Golf and tennis are on the horizon, as well as injury recovery and physiotherapy.


The app is designed to track progress and provide tips to help the player improve any weaknesses. Wu sees the technology as a supplement, “either for an existing routine or to enable learning. Quantitatively, the app breaks down speed, elbow angle, arc angle and consistency,” she says. “It also tracks your shots made and practice time. Qualitatively, it uses machine learning to customize your experience over time.”

The tone of voice and frequency of coaching that a player responds to best are among things that the app will customize to enhance the experience of individual users. It will also incorporate tips from various NBA players, including 2005 Sixth Man of the Year recipient Ben Gordon.

Gordon has signed on to the project as an adviser and ambassador for the Onyx Motion team. He says he would definitely recommend the technology to any kid who’s looking to make it to the NBA one day.

Onyx Motion has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to hasten the production and expand the capabilities of Swish. The Android version of the app is set to be released in late August with its Apple counterpart arriving in October.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jackie Atkins
Jackie Atkins
Jackie Atkins is a competitive alpine skier, student and aspiring writer who primarily contributes stories about the intersection between technology and sports to ITBusiness.ca.

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