Major League Baseball began allowing players to use two wearable devices during games before the 2016 season started. The league is now adding another gadget to its approved list: the Whoop Strap. While the device has been around for awhile now, players can wear the continuous biometric monitoring wristband during games when 2017 season starts in a matter of weeks. Whoop Strap tracks strain, recovery and sleep to give athletes, coaches and trainers an overall look at a player's health.
The Whoop wearable monitors heart rate, heart rate variability, ambient temperature, motion and sleep data and can store those stats up to 3 days. Last year, the company conducted a trial with 200 minor league players who wore the device all the time except when they were on the field for games. Whoop says this gave it a truckload of data on things like travel, recovery and more which it then presented to MLB during off-season meetings.
ESPN reports that players won't be required to wear the device and that Whoop has no rights to any collected data. What's more, players and teams will be given equal access to the information and any use of those stats for things like TV broadcasts must be approved by both sides. Players can also decide how much information is shared by adjusting the security settings. A couple of NBA players have tried the device during games without permission, so it will be interesting to see if the pro basketball league will make a decision to officially allow or ban the device in the near future.
The Whoop band costs $1,200 and the price includes access to the analytics dashboard. There's also a consumer-focused Whoop Strap 2.0 that went on sale in November for $500.