LAS VEGAS — The market runneth over with fitness trackers that measure footsteps, heart rate and how much sleep you get per night. What most of them can't tell you is how high you jump, or how long you stay in the air. Vert is a new wearable that keeps track of your saltatorial habits in order to keep track of just how much you can defy gravity in each workout.
I tried out Vert for myself at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 and found that while it's a rather straightforward product, it does have the virtue of doing something that no other tracker does. I clipped the tracker — a small, black box with a neon blue LED screen — to my belt, and proceeded to jump a few times. The Vert tracker fed my statistics to a computer, where I could peruse them at my leisure.
The device measured the height of my jump (18.2 inches every time) and compared it against the average heights of other "teams" that were competing. Although the Vert itself can only display jump height, its associated iOS app can keep track of your average height over time, compare your stats with those of friends and rivals and log your highest recorded jump as a record to beat.
Representatives from Vert informed me that the device was ideal for basketball and volleyball; indeed, a handful of teams in USA Volleyball and the NCAA have already adopted the device into common practice. The tracker also has potential applications for cross-fit and martial arts programs, as it tracks how far a wearer's center of gravity moves, rather than his or her feet. A smartwatch application is also in the works, which should be ready for the Apple Watch's 2015 launch.
The Vert is shipping now fromthe company's website for $125. If you routinely play basketball or volleyball, that's probably less than $1 per jump, per practice.