Wearable technology has finally hit the big leagues. Three engineering students from Northeastern University have developed a “data-logging” compression shirt that helps baseball pitchers avoid torn ligaments. The high-tech sheath, which is fitted with motion sensors and a web of conductive threads, tracks its wearer’s pitching mechanics during a game in real time, then relays that data to a monitor in the dugout. By analyzing the information, coaches can spot inconsistencies that could result in injury, whether as a result of fatigue or poor technique.

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION

A tear in the labrum, or the ring of cartilage that cushions the shoulder socket from kinetic forces, can ruin a pitcher’s career. It’s also a common occupational hazard, resulting in upwards of $54 million in salary losses each year. The e-textile garment, which the students say can be made for under $200, makes it easier to pinpoint the precise moment a pitcher’s mechanics begin to falter.

Torn ligaments from pitching injuries result in upwards of $54 million in salaries each year.

“No single device for measuring the quality of pitching mechanics currently exists,” says Marcus Moche, one of the designers. “So we have proposed a shirt that is lightweight and can be worn during bullpen sessions or exhibition games.”

Home run? According to one report, Moche and company have already been contacted by three Major League Baseball teams.

+ Data-Logging Baseball Shirt

+ Northeastern University