Major League Baseball has accepted the use of wearable tech and recently approved two different wearables that can be used by the teams during the games. This is the first season that players can use Zephyr Bioharness and Motus Baseball Sleeve.
Zephyr Bioharness is capable of providing breathing and heart rates, and is used in pro and collegiate sports markets, including the University of Georgia football program. The Motus Baseball sSeeve monitors the stress and force exerted on the elbow. Such strain sometimes leads to baseball’s most dreaded injury-related procedure: Tommy John surgery.
MLB has allowed the wearables for the reason that they would detect serious injuries and concussions during games, and it must be noted that the data provided by these sports wearables wouldn’t allow any sort of performance improvement during the game. The data is downloaded by players after the game to find out about the injuries.
MLB’s acceptance of wearables to be used during the official games is just an indicator that the wearable tech industry will likely begin infusing itself into many other popular leagues and live games.The biggest reason wearables are revolutionizing sports is the way that they utilize big data, much like the way big businesses do.
With the NFL adding tracking sensors to the shoulder pads of each and every player starting this fall, coaches will be able to build on training regimens in a more unique way. And with that customizable training comes better performance, more effective, efficient coaching staff, and potentially more money in the long run. While MLB and NFL have opened the gates to including wearables in competition, some leagues are slower to take action.
Just recently, NBA ruled out the use of Whoop by Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova. Whoop is a wearable activity tracker that collects more than 150 megabytes of physiological data per day based on tracking heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductivity, ambient temperature, accelerometery and motion. The player had been wearing the tech for about 15 games before the league took notice and banned it. So a middle ground is still needed.
In a world where winning is directly correlated to profits, it’s easy to imagine how this investment in wearables technology could produce an incredible return. The biggest impact is that we could see an increase in player safety. The ability to track an athlete’s reaction to injuries both can trigger a more effective rehab and a better regulation of player safety. Even normal wear and tear on a body can be observed to decrease recovery time and emphasize preventative measures. That’s a win all around.