The MLB Just Approved a Wearable Device That Measures the Physical State of a Players’ Body

It’s about damn time.

The device, made by a company called WHOOP, is the first of its kind approved by any of the major American sports leagues to be worn during competition. Teams cannot force players to wear the device, however; players get to decide.

The WHOOP device is meant to be worn throughout the day and night. It can be worn on various parts of the body, and it measures sleep, recovery and strain. Thanks to the 100 megabytes of data a day that is gathered, it allows a player and a team to monitor the current state of an athlete’s body heading into a game.

How mad are companies like Samsung and Fitbit? They’ve been in the wearable device game for years and suddenly this little startup that’s sneakily close to WHOOF.com run by Ryan from The Office comes in and snatches a major sports league deal.

So basically these guys are going to wear these things in their uniforms in order to collect data such as heart rate and have the option to wear them off the diamond to measure sleep patterns and recovery time. I’ve always had the opinion that baseball players are more like a product than an employee. As cold as it is, when teams decide which players they want on their teams it’s more like going to the mall rather than setting up an interview.

When you’re buying a product, you want to know everything about that item before you make the purchase. I want to know what extras are included in the 4K Ultimate Edition of Batman v. Superman before I spend $30 (the Ultimate Edition is worth the three hours, trust me). Teams are spending millions on their products while comparably having limited information on what they’re buying. They rely on word of mouth (scouts) and past data (customer reviews).

Monitoring a player’s heart rate could finally prove all those snobs who say clutch hitting or pitching isn’t real wrong. If David Price’s resting heart rate is noticeably higher in the postseason than during the regular season, that would probably raise a few red flags. Meanwhile, we could finally prove Kyle Hendricks is a robot when he puts on the device and has no heartbeat.

All good things. Thumbs up, MLB.

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