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Major League Baseball approves wearable tech for in-game use

Players can wear an elbow sleeve and heart-rate monitor during games this season.
Billy Steele
04.05.16
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Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Major League Baseball season started this week, and the league's rules committee will allow wearables to hit the diamond for the first time. During games, MLB players can wear a Motus Baseball Sleeve to keep tabs on elbow stress and the Zephyr Bioharness heart and breathing monitor. For now, those are the only two approved devices for in-game use. Yes, this means gadgets like Jawbone, Fitbit or other more consumer-friendly devices are still prohibited.

The idea is to use the sleeve and heart-rate sensor for early injury detection by tracking a player's habits. However, the collected data can't be transmitted during games, so teams will have to download it after the ninth inning. Details on a pitcher's throwing motion during a game could be used to prevent serious injuries that lead to procedures like Tommy John surgery. To help ease privacy concerns from the player's union, all of the gathered data can only be used internally and it will be shared with the player. Let's just hope the Cardinals don't get a hold of it.

The rules committee also approved two batting swing sensors for on-field use during workouts from Blast Motion and Diamond Kinetics. However, those two devices still cannot be used outside of warm-ups, batting practice and other training sessions. While some may welcome the use of tech on the diamond, not all players are fans of the change.

"The next thing you know, the pitcher's going to have a phone in his pocket taking selfies," Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner told the Associated Press.

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