Building Healthier and More Efficient People

Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD



Baseball is a haven for stats geeks – small wonder I love it so much. Nearly every play, action, and movement can be quantified with a value. And recently, sabermetrics – or the empirical analysis of baseball – has gone far beyond the Moneyball era’s market inefficiencies. The modern game seeks to build better players.

Teams use high-speed video cameras, like the Edgertronic family, that capture the most minute of minutia at 35,000 fps with resolutions up to 1920 x 1080. They use ball-tracking tools like TrackMan that measure pitch velocity, spin rate, tilt, extension, effective velocity, zone velocity, release height, release side, vertical break, and horizontal break, plus seven additional facets for hitters.

What’s more, sports academies like DriveLine Baseball bridge the gap between analytics and traditional athletics, combining “data-driven player development” with weighted balls, max effort and, submaximal throwing to create more efficient players. It’s this marriage of the old and the new that will carry baseball well through the 21st century, and “America’s Pastime” isn’t the only market trying to build better people.

Wearable technology gives athletes an edge, but it also adds a new dimension to healthcare. This October covers both of these fascinating new developments.

Mouser embraces this duality with “The Human Body: Technology’s Harshest Environment,” which notes how technology has done a lot to pinpoint humanity’s physical limitations. While Badwater Ultramarathon runners endure sweltering temperatures north of 100°F in Death Valley (the hottest place on Earth), the human body will expire when humidity reaches extreme levels or the temperature hits 60°C (140°F) or when the body temperature goes down to –21°C (12.8°F).  

But it goes beyond athletics – “Professionals who work in extreme environments now use technology to help stay safe and monitor their health. Military pilots, deep sea divers, and scientists working in the coldest parts of the world depend on technology to help them survive,” claims Robert Huntley, writing for Mouser.

Meanwhile, Maxim covers the athletic side of human development, urging engineers to “Design Wearable Sports Technologies that Change the Game.”

Soccer’s Champions League final featured two teams, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, that make liberal use of StatSport’s GPS-based athlete performance-tracking system. StatSport’s GPS system measures maximum speed, total distance, and sprints via a pod and vest solution, and the teams were able to adjust their training accordingly.

And we’ll be seeing a lot more of that – the sports technology market is projected to reach $31.1 billion by 2024.

“From recreational sports participants to weekend runners to professional athletes, more people are taking advantage of wearable technologies to assess their progress and performance and their overall well-being,” notes Maxim’s Sudhir Mulpuru, and of course, IC vendors (amongst others) have a critical role to play in the design and manufacture of cutting-edge sports wearables.

Enjoy the October issue!

Best Regards,

Jason Lomberg

North American Editor, PSD