There's much to be gained from tracking the biomechanics of elite athletes in the lab, where monitoring of stress on joints and muscles can not only aid in performance, but also help prevent injury. Baseball batters and pitchers dealing with one fastball after another are certainly no different, so US company Motus Global has announced an iron-on set of sensors designed to bring this technology out of the lab and onto the field for comprehensive in-match analysis.
Motus has been working with professional athletes for a number of years in its motion capture laboratory, offering insights into the performance of soccer players, baseballers, footballers, golfers and basketballers. Last year it made its first move toward a more mobile solution, launching a sleeve embedded with a 3D motion-sensing module that can be stretched over a pitcher's forearm to provide performance feedback.
It is now extending the technology to cover more of the body and further aspects of a baseballer's game. Dubbed MotusPro, its new system is made up of five separate 6-axis motion sensors that slot into iron-on pockets on compression shirts, batting gloves and cleats. These are capable of measuring throwing speeds and hitting motion, tracking movement patterns between different body parts, and stress on the elbow and shoulder joints.
The system will also monitor joint angles and information on stride length and the timing of foot contact. The system can store a game's worth of data on the sensors' onboard storage and relay it over Bluetooth to an iOS app, where users can then access insights into their performance, be it in training or a real match.
The app presents eight measures of the kinetic chain, though users can also access a more detailed Web dashboard where more than 100 stress metrics are available, along with raw data graphs of 16 biomechanical variables per movement. The MotusPro is set to launch in the coming weeks.