Little league baseball once stood as a mainstream right of passage, enjoyed by countless generations of kids across America and around the globe. Unfortunately, the number of youths partaking in these sports has been rapidly waining, with a study from The Aspen Institute showing that approximately seven out of ten kids quit these activities by age 11. In an attempt to turn this trend around, Norwegian startup Playfinity has created the world’s first-ever connected kids’ baseball league along with a smart “Gaming Baseball” that tracks performance and allows the user to play a selection of games and training exercises.
Housing an array of chips and sensors, this Bluetooth-connected baseball maintains standard MLB regulation sizing and immense durability while packing 70-hours of battery life. Rather than focusing on raw performance, this smart baseball was designed to maximize fun and enjoyment of the sport, with numerous training exercises that improve the user’s skills while bolstering appreciation for the sport. Users can also log online and see how their performance in these games stacks up against other uses in games or areas such as fastest throws and most catches. The Playfinity Gaming Baseball is currently available via an Indiegogo campaign with an early-bird price of $69 — a percentage of which will go to supporting local youth sports teams.