An innovative smart basketball hoop is nothing but net


iOS, Android, and an IoT basketball hoop


Discovery, UI/UX, Design System, Development

Giving basketball the Peloton treatment

Our stakeholders at Huupe approached us with a prototype and specs for their exciting new smart basketball hoop. The “Huupe” features a digital screen on its backboard and a camera with a lidar system mounted above. The design is not just for shooting hoops, but for revolutionizing the way players practice and interact with the game of basketball.

The goal with Huupe was to eventually have a device and companion app that let you free-shoot, train, compete, play with another player across the planet, and even stream any content you wanted while hanging out on the court.

Does this basketball seem a little flat to you?

The initial stage of the project presented two significant challenges. Firstly, while the hardware was impressive, the software was still in a pretty nascent stage. It was very much a proof of concept and they needed our expertise to bring some of their ideas to life. Secondly, the interaction system of the Huupe was constrained to a basic keyboard and mouse interface.

However, we first needed to help them create a demo version to let potential investors and customers try out the Huupe. With upcoming events at NBA venues, we got to work.

Making demos a layup

Working with our stakeholders, we workshopped potential demo experiences that could function with a minimal event team running a booth with a prototype Huupe. We needed to understand how to create an intuitive and simple flow from the phone to the Huupe, then back to the phone.

We came up with a kiosk-like experience to use a tablet or smartphone as a check-in experience for players wanting to try the Huupe. This simple experience let a user quickly sign up and then try out a shooting challenge. During or after a player participating in a shooting challenge, the next player could sign up and see how much time left the current player had. To keep things competitive, a local leaderboard was visible on the phone and the Huupe itself.

This experience also synced up with the Huupe’s built-in display. Players could see their misses, makes, and shot arcs in real time. One of the early challenges we faced was making it obvious to players when a shot registered as a miss or make. We shifted to doing a high contrast background with bright green and red flashing indicators in the “sweet spot” rectangle of the board. Additionally, easily read icons showed if a shot arc was too low.

Building on the success of the demo version, we began ideating how a full app experience might look while our developers ironed out some of the technical challenges.

Bluetooth can’t screen Goji

While working on the demo and more robust app later, we needed the mobile app to effectively act as a remote for the Huupe. We created a device setup flow that integrated with bluetooth to setup wifi and create a remote-like experience.

Incorporating Bluetooth Low Energy technology was key in eliminating the need for a keyboard and mouse hooked up to the Huupe. This technology allowed for efficient power usage and sufficient range, ensuring smooth communication between the mobile app and the Huupe. This allowed players to register, connect to their Huupe via Bluetooth, and remotely start any selected game or practice. The app also enabled users to control the volume of the Huupe and save their results to a server for tracking progress and viewing top ratings.

A slam dunk

Our collaboration with Huupe led to significant achievements as funding starting coming in. The integration of our app with the Huupe enabled successful demos at NBA games and other events, showcasing the product’s capabilities to a wide audience.

The project garnered investments from prominent figures in and around the NBA— and an appearance on SharkTank— validating its potential in the market. Furthermore, the launch of pre-orders was met with glowing reviews from early customers, highlighting the product’s ease of use and innovative features.