Mayfonk Athletic’s VERT Wearable Fitness Monitor ($125) is a fitness tracker with one very specific application — jump measurements. Most notably, vertical jump measurements. VERT is a small sensor which comes with a charger and a VERTbelt, which stretches out to be worn across the waist. A clip on the belt allows the VERT to be worn on your person during athletic use. The charger connects VERT on one end and plugs into a USB port on the other side. While the VERT sensor itself displays readings, the free Vert app should be downloaded to gain full use of the accessory, as it connects to VERT using Bluetooth 4.0.
The VERT sensor itself is small — just a bit larger than a AA battery, as pictured below. Setting up VERT is easy. VERT can be connected easily through its app, and from there, a user sets up his or her profile by recording height, weight, and standing reach with one or two hand touch. This will enable VERT to have accurate measurements. Profiles can be further customized in the app by including a photo, jersey number, etc., but it’s not necessary.
VERT is designed to be worn 1” below the belly button, to the left or right side. The included belt makes this easy, fitting just above where your shorts or pants waistband rests. You can also remove the clip from the belt and just use VERT clipped onto clothing, but this isn’t recommended for practice or game performance.
We found that VERT did a very good job of transmitting vertical measurements during our testing. Readings are done within a tenth of an inch, and although it’s impossible to know the sensor’s true accuracy, it seemed pretty right on to us. Deliberately low jumps gave us fitting numbers when compared to our larger leaps. While readings can immediately be seen on the sensor itself — the sensor also can show the current time and a jump count — it’s best to keep the app nearby for greater detail.
Using Bluetooth, VERT’s app will show users the latest reading from the sensor almost instantaneously. Give it your best jump, and by the time you take a look, your latest leap measurement will be right there. It may also leave one longing to test VERT 10 years and 30 pounds ago. Our testing wasn’t done in totally ideal circumstances — jumping off concrete in blue jeans and walking sneakers likely won’t give us our highest possible mark — but again, everything appeared to be correct. The app also offers a jump rate mode — which is ideal for jumping rope — the ability to create multiple workout sessions with graphs, and a “Props” mode, which lets a user pair a picture with a recorded measurement. This last feature is admittedly a bit silly, but perhaps some people will have fun with it.
Though VERT’s app is speedy and seemingly accurate, there are some limitations. Most notably, there’s an inability to save multiple profiles. The inclusion of multiple profiles would enable coaches to let numerous athletes share VERT and record different measurements. It appears Mayfonk Athletic would rather have teams purchase multiple units, as evidenced by the existence of the VERT team Pack, which includes six VERT units for $750 — no discount from a single unit. Additionally, a $99 iPad-only VERTcoach app lets coaches monitor the performance of multiple units. This seems excessive, to say the very least, and it limits VERT’s appeal for many athletic teams.
Though VERT is a niche product, we found it works quite well, and its long battery life with long Bluetooth range — and the ability to re-sync to the app with recorded data after being away from an iOS device — ensures you can likely get through multiple games or workouts with accurate measurements. However, there’s no denying $125 is a steep price for a sensor that really only does one major thing. While the app is simple to navigate, we wish it gave multiple users the chance to swap VERT around. For now, the product is best for a single athlete dedicated to a specific sport — most likely a basketball or volleyball player. If that’s you, VERT is worth a look.
Company and Price
Company: Mayfonk Athletic
Compatible: iPad 3G and later, iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch 5G