Technologies That Are Revolutionizing Baseball

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With the 2020 World-Series around the corner, it’s important to reflect on baseball’s long history in this country. This will be the 116th edition of the World Series, which highlights just how long the sport has managed to stay relevant and loved by its fans. Despite being an old sport, there are several new advances and technologies introduced to the game that have modernized and changed the baseball experience.

One baseball technology that has impacted the overall player experience is Biotracking. Biotracking is where biomonitors record and measure different physical data. The wristband monitor tracks vital signs and physical stress during sleep, play, rest, and recovery. This data is useful for adjusting workouts, pitching motions, running style, and sleep cycles to the player’s individual needs.

Baseball technologies have also changed audience experience through VR systems. Virtual reality has expanded baseball’s audience by allowing fans to be in the game. Some teams like the San Francisco Giants have in-stadium VR, and the Chicago Cubs also had VR 360 viewing of the World Series celebration in 2016.

In addition to impacting the overall player and audience experience, there are also several technologies in use that focus on body mechanics and data gathering. Examples of technologies focused on body mechanics are:

  • The K Vest: a technology that places sensors on a batter’s upper torso, pelvis, and leading arm and hand. It captures motion and provides a detailed analysis of swing efficiency.  It is currently used by 21 different MLB teams, in addition to separate academies and individual players.

  • The SwingTracker is a technology used by 15 different MLB teams. It is a sensor that is attached to the knob of a bat and transmits data about angles, planes, and velocity. Using this data, a 3D model of a player’s swing can be created.

  • KinaTrax is a technological system consisting of 8 to 16 high-speed synchronized video cameras. These are installed along the first and third baselines, and they capture every movement of the pitcher and hitter. The system then provides 3D rotational and positional data for the movement.

  • The Edgertronic SC1 is a high-speed video camera capable of capturing up to 22,000 frames per second. Teams use the slow-motion visuals to see how a pitcher’s grip changes as he releases a ball, or how subtle adjustments in finger position affect ball rotation. Edgertronic is currently used by most MLB teams.

  • Rapsodo is a radar and camera combination that is situated on the ground between the mound and the home plate. The radar and camera combination results in data on ball speed, velocity, launch angle, and spin for pitchers and batters. This technology provides a ball-focused pitch analysis that can allow coaches and players to highlight areas for development.

  • Baseball has established itself as a timeless sport through its everlasting fanbase. Thanks to these technology advances, the sport will continue to modernize along with its audience.