Wearable technology and training systems are slowly infiltrating the world of sport. Runners and cyclists already have wearable systems in place to help them in their training. Big sports brands like Nike and Adidas have introduced personal training systems such as Nike+ and Adidas MiCoach. However, sports other than running and cycling are yet to receive enough wearable technology systems to aid training.
However, baseball could soon get a new personal training system. Sebastiaan Pijnappel is an interactive product designer who felt that there was a need to expand the area of wearable technology for sports persons. He carried out research on this niche area and soon came up with a wearable prototype for pitchers. This interesting new sports technology expectedly carries out measurements of the pitching rhythm. What is interesting is that it offers aural feedback.
How does Pijnappel’s technology work? This wearable system essentially measures the pitching rhythm, what is called as the timing of “key phases of pitching movements”. But rather than display the results on a little screen, the personal training system provides feedback in an auditory form, specifically in musical notes. The idea behind this, as Pijnappel conceived it, was to learn whether a given pitcher would begin to use the sound feedback to his advantage. If yes, then the personal training system could result in improving the pitcher’s consistency with the baseball.
Pijnappel’s wearable training system was tried out on a small sample group. Out of the four individuals on whom the wearable technology was tested, three pitchers found improvement as a result of Pijnappel’s technology. More testing will be required, but this is a promising start.