Cubs Win! Wearable Sensors to Analyze Performance

The Chicago Cubs have finally won the 2016 World Series.

The World Champion title returns to the Cubs after a long 108 years. As the New York Times states, during this time, “The United States fought two world wars, the Soviet Union grew to dominance and then imploded, diseases were wiped off the earth and technology took us from newfangled automobiles to moon rockets and beyond — and still the Cubs could not win a World Series.”

Sports science has certainly seen a rise in popularity since that time as well. So much so that fans, coaches, and athletes can now gain a deeper look into skill levels and weaknesses of each player, and the team as a whole. Quantifying this game-time performance can provide valuable information about things like accuracy, energy exertion, and injury prevention. By capitalizing on APDM Opal technology, Cubs coaches and the like can see real-time performance analytics and provide immediate feedback to keep them in the #1 spot.

In the past, APDM Opal sensors were used for an in-field quantitative approach to identify different developmental levels in overarm throwing, a crucial metric for baseball analysis. In the study, a set of temporal and kinematic biomechanical parameters were defined and analyzed based on existing literature in order to determine different overarm throwing levels. Certain phases of a throw were outlined, including a cocking phase, acceleration phase, and a post ball release phase – all of which could be measured by Opal sensors.

This study shows the advantages of using Opal sensors compared to previous methods such as Video Motion Capture. Typically encumbered by long post-processing times and low accuracy, Video Motion Capture lacks the ease of use, robust design, small dimensions, and freedom that Opals offer coaches and researchers.

For example, Opals can be used for pitching analysis for Game 7 shiners like Hendricks, Arrieta, and Chapman. Opals can measure optimal throwing angle by looking at arm swing velocity, accuracy, timing, and range of motion to make sure the ball is released at the correct moment. Measuring fatigue and biomechanics can save pitchers from elbow injuries, saving thousands from Tommy John surgery, and increasing overall performance reliability and value to the team.

In addition, with the prevalence of concussions in baseball, data gathered from Opals has shown to provide accurate gait, balance, and concussion analysis, which could prevent any future premature return-to-play decisions.

From baseball, football, swimming, to badminton, Opal technology can provide the performance analysis that coaches and athletes can understand in order to make a difference in the game. Custom solutions and movement quantification is already in use by top sports teams, giving them a winning advantage.

Read more about Opal sensors here.

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