Zepp, the sports wearables company has teamed up with wood bat manufacturer Old Hickory (a Top 5 supplier of bats to MLB players) to bring us the Mike Trout Old Hickory Smart Bat.
Mike, a fan of Old Hickory bats since high school, has been one of the best hitters in Major League Baseball in recent years. He collaborated with Zepp back in 2014 to use their 3D Swing Analyzer to help improve his swinging habits. At the time, the two products worked as separate parts, the sensor attached to the bat with a mount.
Late last year, the Angels outfielder and the two companies went one step further, and integrated the sensor into a regular game-day bat. Similar to what Babolat has done with the tennis racket.
“Introducing a Smart Bat is a big moment for the game,” said Mike Trout.
“Having Zepp combined with my signature bat will help give me an edge. I’m always looking to improve my swing and have consistency throughout the season.”
The Smart Bat allows players and coaches to go about their normal coaching and practicing routines, but now with the benefits of technology that is seamlessly integrated. The advantage here is you don’t have a tracker adding length to the end of your bat and the sensor provides feedback during games as well as in practice sessions. The data that is collected can viewed on your mobile device, and stored for future comparison.
Zepp 3D Baseball Swing Analyzer
The wood bat has a 30.8 mm by 28 mm cavity in the knob to house the removable sensor. The versatility allows athletes to charge their Zepp sensor in or out of the bat that is easily removed and locked into place with a turn of the magnetic charger.
“We have the potential to change the way players train as we know it,” explained Robin Han, Zepp CEO.
“In the age of sabermetrics, it’s only logical that we establish a physical tool that can truly measure how players perform in real game-time environments. 2016 will be the year for the Smart Bat and this is just the first in a string of exciting announcements to come.”
There is no word on pricing yet, but Smart Bats that are Powered by Zepp are expected to be available for purchase in June. They have already been approved for in game use during top amateur tournaments and events hosted by Perfect Game USA and Ripken Baseball.
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