While a famous quotation in football has it that the best offense is a good defense, this principle is being applied to sports clothing by way of a new kind of wearable known from Ziel. Developed by a pair of students from Rice University in Houston, Texas, the M2 Sleeve from Ziel claims to combine “muscle sensors and motion analysis” to identify risky movements, and hopefully, stop you before you hurt yourself.
Originally developed for baseball pitchers to “objectively identify harmful pitching,” the M2 Sleeve can be applied in multiple athletic (or even non-athletic) scenarios. As Ziel points out on its website, “the best part is that this same technology can be applied to any repetitive physical activity — workouts, marathon running, repetitive stress injuries in the workplace, you name it.”
While there are plenty of wearable devices that promise to monitor your movement, Ziel wants to be proactive about your health, and is in the business of injury prevention. The firm notes that 60 percent of high school baseball pitchers find themselves battling debilitating arm injuries, and that a quarter of major league pitchers have undergone some sort of arm surgery. “Two factors are the major culprits — improper technique and muscle overexertion,” the company says. “The key is to get data on both factors, so that better informed and more comprehensive decisions can be made to preserve pitchers’ arms.”
This data is then sent to wearers by way of a handy smartphone application, and will offer actionable advice in real time to help improve form.
The team is currently working on its fourth prototype, and while you can’t get one of these sleeves for the baseball fanatic in your family this Christmas, the M2 Sleeve is slated to be ready by the holidays in 2018, and will cost around $250. Ziel’s founders say they’ll be targeting baseball coaches first with their product, and will also charge a $10 coaching subscription to continuously access the Sleeve’s insights.
So if you’ve a baseball star on the rise, or are concerned about repetitive motion or other arm injuries in any other context, make sure to keep an eye on Ziel and its potentially game-changing wearable.