Just in time for the start of baseball season, Pittsburgh-based U-M startup Diamond Kinetics and Baton Rouge-based sporting goods company Marucci Sports have announced a partnership to produce a new line of handcrafted maple bats that incorporate an array of emdedded “smart” sensors to collect, analyze and deliver swing data to players and coaches.
This new Smart Bat, which is now available through Marucci, captures swing data using with 11 different metrics in four core swing categories: speed, power, quickness, and control. As the Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker sensor is built securely within the knob of the bat, no external attachments are necessary, allowing for a clean, consistent, accurate swing with no added weight or bulky restrictions.
This, according to Diamond Kinetics CEO C.J. Handron, represents “another step toward unlocking the power of information, in a seamless user experience, to help players improve their skills and advance their level of performance.”
In conjunction with the launch of the new Smart Bat, Marucci will also debut its first ever mobile application for iOS devices. The app – designed and engineered in collaboration with Diamond Kinetics – will feature exclusive content from Buster Posey, Anthony Rizzo and other Marucci partners, as well as a direct connection into the SwingTracker mobile app developed by Diamond Kinetics.
The metrics and analytics made available through these “smart bats,” according to Marucci Sports CEO/Co-Founder Kurt Ainsworth, may very well “encourage more swings, more practice, and overall more baseball.”
The underlying wireless inertial sensor technology in the Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker was developed in the University of Michigan lab of Noel Perkins, which has, over the past decade, been licensed to a number of companies, including Wilson Sporting Goods and Sony. In addition to the Smart Bat being brought to market by Diamond Kinetics and Marucci, the U-M technology has been deployed in everything from tennis rackets to footballs.
Collecting and assessing over 6,000 pieces of data per second, the U-M technology developed by Perkins has the ability to identify and interpret the information that is of most interest to athletes and their coaches and to convey them in compelling formats.
“The data allows a rich understanding of performance that has never been achieved before,” Perkins said. “Even when using high speed film and video, athletes and coaches lack some of the data this technology provides including important metrics of performance such as acceleration, spin axis and spin rate.”