Rapsodo’s new Mobile Launch Monitor turns your phone into a stats machine.
By Tony Dear
In March, Sports Illustrated ran an editorial shining a light on just how overrun with technology baseball coaching has become. The article described how, during Spring Training in Arizona, LA Dodgers batters were hooked up to 3D-Motion sensors that captured every movement of their hips and torsos, and how closely pitches were being monitored by the 1,000-frames-a-second Edgertronic SC1, as well as Trackman and Rapsodo devices that enabled coaches to monitor exactly how the ball exited the pitcher’s hand, as well as its velocity, speed, spin rate, spin axis, and so on.
“Technology is changing how players learn, how coaches coach, how managers manage, how front offices evaluate and how teams compete,” wrote the article’s author Tom Verducci.
Golf has likewise been inundated with technology, of course, transforming a once relatively lethargic game into a hi-octane speed and distance-fest that boomers and older Gen Xers can barely recognize, let alone keep up with.
Singapore-based Rapsodo, maker of one of the sensors having such an enormous impact on baseball, was founded by Batuhan Okur in 2010 and has developed tracking technology for SkyTrak. At the end of 2016, it introduced the highly-realistic R-Motion golf simulator/swing analyzer that sold for as little as $199.
Last month, the company launched a new product – the Mobile Launch Monitor (MLM) which takes convenient, easy-to-use, personal data-tracking to an entirely new level.
As well as tracking shot distance, ball speed, club speed, launch angle, launch direction and shot shape, MLM allows you to review shots on video, observe their shape with a shot-tracer, and share the videos on social media. Other features include Satellite Mapping which uses your phone’s GPS to show where each of your shots lands, either on the course or range, enabling you to see your shot dispersion; Smart Club Recognition which senses a club change when you show the club to the camera; Bag Mapping which allows you to easily visualize your ball flight with each club on a distance map giving you greater awareness of which club to hit on the course; and a Shot Library which archives all your shots and stats over your lifetime using the MLM.
The MLM device is just 5.3” long, 3” wide. 1.6” high and weighs just over 10 oz. After downloading the MLM app to your phone (iOS only for now, Android coming), calibrate the phone, and choose your favored mode – video tracer with replay, stats, or GPS map. After your session/round ends, review all your shots and identify what needs work (NB MLM can only be used outside, not when hitting into a net).
The objective, of course, it to enable you and your teacher to identify the swing metrics that require the most improvement. In addition to the game-improvement possibilities the MLM provides, though, having the ability to see your shot-shape with the tracer and reviewing your swing on video, just makes practice time more interesting and enjoyable.
The MLM uses 24ghz radar, and comes with a carrying case, UBS charging cable, and 10-hour rechargeable battery.
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