Earning First-Mover Technology Advantages

Spalding

Spalding Explores an Innovative Approach to Training in Basketball

In the world of professional and recreational basketball, Spalding is a staple that not only provides equipment for the game, but an entire segment of training aids. Spalding’s latest creation of a Connected Basketball is another example of catering to the diverse needs of its customers.

Challenge

Spalding’s previous in-house attempts to incorporate wireless power into their ball-based training system continuously failed. Not only were they unable to reach desired power and data levels, but the internal hardware diminished the ball’s bounce-back performance. In other words, the initial solution did not bounce, dribble or throw like a standard basketball – rendering this advancement in training impractical.

Solution

Like Honeywell and Prevent Biometrics, Spalding did not need their wireless power solution to be compatible with other devices like phones, so NuCurrent developed a proprietary wireless power system. 

The result was a high-frequency, low-power solution to deliver 2-5W via 6.78MHz that achieved the required power levels and system efficiency. By selecting and uniquely housing NuCurrent’s patented MLMT PCB coils within the basketball, NuCurrent was also able to improve the user experience by making it feel and respond just like a normal basketball. 

Together, Spalding and NuCurrent addressed the following challenges to create the first-ever connected product training system:

Magnetics

Small form factor receiver coils reduce the overall effect of the sensors on bouncing while improving the charging user experience. By allowing up to 20° of misalignment, NuCurrent improved the overall charge area of the ball and the power levels, all while using a coil that was 56% smaller than the previous version.

Shielding

NuCurrent was able to ensure minimum impact on the wireless charging experience by properly designing shielding that would allow Spalding to integrate the coil near the battery of the device.

Internal Interoperability

NuCurrent’s ecosystem-friendly design enabled Spalding to use the same charging pad to support other sports products, without the need to change the electrical or mechanical characteristics of the transmitter.

Compliance

NuCurrent was able to provide pre-compliance on all the necessary FCC and CEC requirements for wireless power transfer systems.

Results

NuCurrent laid the groundwork for a proprietary wireless charging system for a client whose industry has not utilized wireless power yet – giving them the first-mover technology advantage within their space.

Spalding’s new wireless power technology could achieve z-height flexibility, positioning flexibility and multi-device charging, creating a real game changer in the industry.

Find Your Way to Wireless Power

No matter where you are in the project lifecycle, we have the tech and know-how to solve your wireless power problems. Let’s talk about how our wireless power professionals can work for you.