Cole: MLB approves four wearables for on-field use in 2016

From Bryan Cole at Beyond the Box Score on April 6, 2016:

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Major League Baseball’s playing rules committee has approved four wearable devices for on-field use during the 2016 season.

Two of the systems — Motus Global‘s motusTHROW, which tracks workload and stress for pitchers, and Zephyr‘s BioHarness, a monitoring system that combines heart rate, respiration, and accelerometry — were approved for in-game use. Two bat sensor systems — Diamond KineticsSwingTracker and Easton‘s Power Sensor Motion by Blast — were approved for on-field use during events like batting practice, but not for use in-game. The approval also extends to minor-league games, according to Motus Global CEO Joe Nolan.

MLB vice president for communications Michael Teevan said data cannot be collected from the devices during the game but must be stored on the devices until after the game has ended. This means that, although all of these systems could in theory connect with apps on the newly-approved iPads, coaches won’t be able to use information like Motus Global’s workload score to determine whether or not to take out a pitcher. (To ensure this, the iPads available in the dugout will not have Bluetooth wireless receivers.)

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Originally published: April 6, 2016. Last Updated: April 6, 2016.