Smart sleeve helps pro baseball players avoid injury

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Steve Dent
November 13th, 2014
Smart sleeve helps pro baseball players avoid injury

While the average Joe might use a wearable to see how many calories he burned on the way to Starbucks, such devices can be infinitely more useful for pro athletes. The Motus Sleeve (shown below) can even help Major League Baseball (MLB) players, especially pitchers, to perform better and avoid injuries or possible career-ending Tommy John's surgery. It has a removable 3D sensor sensor with six accelerometers and gyros that's placed in a pouch on the player's elbow. The Sleeve then collects data like arm speed, pitch counts, elbow torque and other pertinent data for hurlers, and swing data for batters.

The results can be transmitted by Bluetooth to a smartphone either in real-time or later on. Motus cut its teeth on motion capture for sports, and the info from the sleeve can be used to help trainers fix flaws caused by faulty mechanics or fatigue. The device was tested by nine MLB teams, including the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners, during workouts and bullpen sessions. The company said it captured hundreds of thousands of data points to refine the analytics app, and added that 90 percent of participating coaches and trainers used it "daily" during those tests. It'll be available to all MLB and NCAA ball teams for spring training next year, with a consumer version coming shortly afterwards. There's no word yet on pricing.

[Image credit: Keith Allison/Flickr]

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