Diamond Kinetics is a Pittsburgh-based company aimed at improving the performance of baseball and softball players of all ages and skill levels by collecting and analyzing motion data. Founded in 2012, the company builds upon intellectual property developed at both the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan and combines engineering talent, innovation and a love of sports to bring these tools to market.
William Clark, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the University of Pittsburgh, founded the company after years of coaching youth baseball and softball. He saw how reliant skill assessment and performance improvement were on the “eyeball test”—essentially trusting the human eye to understand and diagnose performance improvement opportunities in a swing that takes about a quarter of a second. As an engineer, Clark know there had to be a better way, and so he took matters into his own hands and began developing the technology behind the Diamond Kinetics product SwingTracker.
“SwingTracker is being built to serve the specific needs of amateur baseball players of all ages and their coaches—whether they are just getting a taste of the sport in their local recreation league or are at the highest levels of amateur competition,” says CEO and cofounder C.J. Handron.
The technology behind SwingTracker uses an inertial measurement unit, or sensor, to capture position and movement in space on a real-time basis and then sends it via BlueTooth to a paired mobile device. Using proprietary tools and methods, the data is then analyzed and presented in an easy to understand interface so players and coaches can understand the swing, compare it against relevant benchmarks and identify specific areas of improvement. There is also a Diamond Kinetics online community where players can connect with their coach, compare and analyze swing data at a deeper level and access content to help them improve their performance.
“The data is captured at over 1,000 data points per second, so there is a lot
of information with which to work.”
Pre-orders for SwingTracker will be accepted beginning in July for players and coaches who want to “bat leadoff” and have first access to this technology. Beyond the SwingTracker for baseball, Diamond Kinetics plans to expand into fast pitch softball and into other areas of both sports where motion capture and analysis can help players and coaches improve performance. The company has also identified a number of ways to apply the technology at all levels of professional baseball.
“The technology and what we are building with it will truly take the mystery out of motion in baseball,” says Handron.
Diamond Kinetics is looking to expand its team; job openings can be found on its website