Practice makes perfect, and Motus is looking to make throwing practice perfect with its motusQB. Adapted from the Motus Sleeve for tracking the biomechanical data of baseball pitchers, the company has brought the device over to the world of (American) football, tracking the workloads on a quarterback's throwing arm through a range of metrics to help prevent injury and improve their game.
Like its baseball-focused predecessor, the motusQB fits into a sleeve that wraps around a player's arm, with a sensor embedded inside that sits at the elbow. At a tiny 6.9 g (0.24 oz) it's small enough to forget you're wearing it, but it packs a three-axis gyroscope and accelerometer to track the rotational speed of the arm and shoulder, fingertip velocity, elbow valgus torque and elbow distraction force – essentially, the volume and intensity of throws. The sensor can store up to 450 throws worth of data, or it can send it via Bluetooth to a connected device in real-time or after a training session.
Once on the iOS-only mobile app, that data can be organized and analyzed over time to build up a long-term picture of the stresses placed on the elbow. Those figures can be used to develop training programs that minimize the risk of injury or focus on improving a specific aspect of player performance. Motus says it has developed a proprietary algorithm that keeps track of the workload over days, weeks and months, alerting coaches and players if training session workloads begin to spike too high, increasing the risk of injury.
"We've been able to take lessons learned in baseball and create a useful tool for the football community, right out of the gate," says Joe Nolan, CEO of Motus Global. "Of course, we will continue to make improvements based on our users' needs and suggestions – especially when that feedback is coming from world-class professional and collegiate programs. We're excited to bring these unique insights and perspectives to quarterbacks of all levels."
The University of Oregon is one of the first colleges to test the motusQB, and it's available now for US$150.