It’s that time of year again: NBA All-Star Weekend. This year, however, the MIT Media Lab is getting in on the action, and have created a net that can measure the force of slam dunks in “slam force G’s.” Baller, we know. You’ll be able to see it in play during tomorrow’s Sprite Slam Dunk Contest in the bottom right side of your television screen.
The Media Lab developed the net in a partnership with Turner Sports, according to Wired, and will help settle who’s the bigger beast: Derrick Williams or Blake Griffin. After watching him dunk over a car last year, we’re already amped to see what Griffin will do. Bring in a Hummer, perhaps? Hope he’s been practicing.
The net’s made of a conductive thread that’s as flexible as the nylon found in traditional nets, and produces an electrical current whenever it’s contracted. Once a player dunks, the thread communicates with a computer chip behind the board, rendering the force in a graphical output that will allow TV production crews to add graphics to the broadcast.
The Media Lab worked with MIT’s own basketball team (Yes, they do have one of those), to develop the calibration system. The players “threw down with differing levels of power from all sorts of angles,” says Wired, and the harder the dunk, the higher the “slam force G’s.”
Dunks will be measured on a scale of zero to 100 slam force G’s. According to MIT, 100 slam force G’s should be the equivalent of the muzzle energy of a .22 caliber round being fired. Crazy? Yes. Cool? Totally.
Nothing about the net will change how the players perform tricks, so there should be no excuses or whining if they don’t make it in. With that, we have one thing left to say: Bring it on, boys. Bring it on.