NBA Teams Are Using Perch’s AI-Powered Technology to Gain an Edge On and Off the Court

Brooklyn Nets

BOSTON – Whenever the Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic take to the court this season, how they fare will, in large part, depend on the play of their starting five and bench. But their success also hinges on a new AI-backed weight training platform that they’ve become the first in the NBA to leverage.

Called Perch, the MIT-developed technology uses a combination of 3D cameras and machine learning to quantify weight room performance and enhance an athlete’s motivation, safety, and on-court performance.

“Perch is used by the world’s most elite athletic organizations to optimize performance, manage fatigue, profile athletes, and quantify daily readiness. For all levels of athletics, from professional to high school, Perch helps you be ready for game day,” said Perch co-founder Jacob Rothman. “We’re excited about our penetration into the NBA and look forward to helping these teams keep their players training safely and progressing towards their goals.”

So, what exactly is Perch? And how does it work?

Perch has three components: a 3D camera that fastens or "perches" to any weight rack with Velcro straps, a battery pack, and a tablet. The latter two adhere via a magnet. An athlete walks up, logs in on the tablet and starts lifting. While they lift, the 3D camera captures and outputs the sets, reps, velocity, and power, culminating in about a dozen different metrics on the tablet that inform performance. Players and coaches can then access the workout data via a web application to derive insights to performance and monitor how to best approach future workouts.

“Perch solves the problem of athletic load and the inherent risk that comes with it. Previously, if a player or a team had a physically taxing game or practice the day before, their strength coach would typically assign a lighter day of lifting. But with Perch, that’s all determined by lift velocity,” said Rothman. “We’re closing that feedback loop, which results in reduced risk of injury and athletes getting stronger, faster.”

Rothman added, “The days of walking around a weight room with a clipboard are long over.”

Since its launch in 2017, Perch has gripped the world of professional and collegiate sports, attracting an ever-expanding roster of customers – which currently includes nearly one-third of the NFL, as well as a growing number of teams across the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, and NCAA. The company's scope has also expanded to various military bases, fitness and performance facilities, and a growing number of high schools across the country.

For more information on Perch’s innovative technology, visit 

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