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Zepp and Old Hickory debut bat with integrated swing sensor

Now there's a built-in swing analyzer, rather than a clip-on accessory.
Billy Steele
02.28.16
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Zepp tipped its hand on integrated swing sensors for baseball bats and tennis rackets back at CES. With MLB Spring Training in full swing, now's as good a time as any to pull the wraps of the finished version. The sports-tracking company teamed up with wood bat manufacturer Old Hickory for the Mike Trout Old Hickory Smart Bat. If you're unfamiliar, Mr. Trout is one of the best hitters in Major League Baseball over the last few years and a long-time fan (since high school) of Old Hickory's sticks.

"Introducing a Smart Bat is a big moment for the game," said Mike Trout. "Having Zepp combined with my signature bat will help give me an edge. I'm always looking to improve my swing and have consistency throughout the season."

Trout first worked with Zepp back in 2014 to use its 3D Swing Analyzer to track his hitting habits. Last year, the Angels outfielder collaborated with the company on a sensor that fits inside a game-day bat. For the Old Hickory version, the swing sensor is located in the knob of the bat rather than clipping on the end like the previous version. The advantage here is you don't have a tracker adding length to the end of your bat and the built-in version aims to provide feedback during games, not just in practice sessions. Yes, it's removable, but you don't have to take it out to charge it.

What's more, amateur baseball events by Perfect Game USA and Ripken Baseball have already approved the bat for in-game use. There's no word on pricing just yet, but if you're looking to take a few hacks, you'll be able to do just that this June.

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