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Bat sensor aims to make baseball's future stars better hitters

Blast Motion is partnering with Major League Baseball on a bat sensor designed to improve hitters' swings through motion capturing and analysis.

Know an aspiring baseball player looking to improve their swing like a big leaguer?

There's a bat sensor for that, including one by Blast Motion, which on Thursday announced a multi-year deal with Major League Baseball to be the league's "official bat sensor technology." The sensor, which attaches to the end of a bat, measures hand speed on a swing and its impact.

Under the deal, Blast Motion's technology will available for developmental use by all 30 MLB teams, used during TV broadcasts of games, and featured during the All-Star Futures Game on July 10 in San Diego.

"This is going to change the game in a very positive way," Blast Motion CEO Michael Fitzpatrick said. "This is huge not only for the sport, but also for the fans."

The deal comes as America's pastime is all in with integrating technology and wearables to connect with its young fanbase. Blast Motion is among four tech devices approved by MLB for official use, including another bat sensor made by Diamond Kinetics. There's also the Motus Baseball sleeve, which tracks throwing, and the Zephyr BioHarness, a chest strap that monitors heart and breathing rates. The latter two devices can be used in actual games.


Blast Motion's partnership brings "another integrated technology and developmental tool to young players of all levels and ages, such as those who compete in the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars, as they grow their skills in the game," an MLB spokesman told CNET.

It's not known when the sensor will be used during games.

And, baseball's best talents are also individually embracing tech to improve their performance. Los Angeles Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout is partnering with Silicon Valley-based Zepp Labs to develop the Smart Bat, which also has a sensor integrated into a bat handle.

Both bat sensors by Blast Motion and Zepp are on sale at around $150 each.

Batter up.