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Pitchers can up their game with data-collecting arm sleeve

Swatches | December 1, 2023 | By:

The arm sleeve can be washed and dried like any other garment because of its detachable battery. Image: Nextiles

Instead of using radar guns, cameras and video to collect information about a baseball pitcher’s performance and arm health, sensors sewn into a fabric sleeve called the Nextiles Arm Sleeve can gather and report biometric data in real time. 

Pitchers at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., will start wearing the Nextiles Arm Sleeve for the 2023–24 NCAA baseball season, allowing coaches immediate access to biomechanical information on a player’s performance per pitch.

The sleeve is worn on the player’s pitching arm, and the sensors measure the direction, speed and distance of each throw as well
as each pitch’s velocity, power and torque on the elbow. The flexion of the arm causes the fabric and sensor to bend, producing a force that is then computed.

The data—captured at more than 100 frames per second—is then transmitted using Bluetooth® and can be viewed on any mobile device with the Nextiles app, which uses machine learning to create a player’s personalized stats and reports. 

Stored both on the cloud and locally, metrics can easily be shared between coaches and players as they create throwing programs and monitor pitchers’ workload to prevent injuries.

Founded in 2018, Nextiles Inc. is a materials and software company based in New York, N.Y., that makes flexible electronics to measure human performance.

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