A novel interactive rebound wall for ball games has made its debut on BT Sport’s Football Tonight show.
Former England star Michael Owen was the first to test his talents against a wall designed especially for the show by WallJAM. Stevenage-based entrepreneur Tim Worboys developed the technology with support from Innovate UK.
WallJAM’s array of impact sensors measure accuracy, speed and power in striking the ball against targets, all timed against the clock. Watch a video demonstration here.
Tim wants to encourage more young people to take up active sport. He first approached Innovate UK in 2012, inspired by an idea that he could reinvent in digital form what children had been doing for decades to improve their hand-eye-foot coordination – hitting a ball against a wall.
Funding for prototype development
Innovate UK provided support through Smart awards totalling £75,000 for proof-of-market and prototype development. Tim explained:
That help from Innovate UK has allowed me to get where I am today. We’re getting close to a realistic market launch. The clever bit is how we get the sensors to interact with all the associated hardware.
WallJAM is modular and scalable and comes in a range of sizes, suited to both the indoor and outdoor use. It’s ideal for multiplayer activity too.
The core market initially is the leisure and sports sector. With economies of scale, there should be opportunities in the school and education market too.
The business has benefited from two rounds of equity funding, including £100,000 raised on CrowdCube in April 2015.