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Wearables, ‘Force Fields’ & Calling Balls & Strikes

The baseball season has finally begun, and if you are a fan, you have also begun to experience, once again, the selective calling of balls and strikes by Major League umpires.

For whatever reason — the way they are crouched behind the catcher and the plate, their opinion on what a “the real strike zone” is, dare I mention eyesight? — each umpire seems to have his own strike zone.

On the heels of video replay of disputed calls this season in MLB comes Philadelphia Phillies great and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt . He said, forget umpires. Use a “force field” as he put it, to call balls and strikes.

Here is a story about his recent interview with a local Philadelphia sports radio show:–force-field–to-call-balls-and-strikes-instead-of-umps-184523359.html

The whole idea isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds, especially if you are in the CE business and are hearing more and more about the latest industry buzzword: “wearables.”

The standard strike zone is supposed to be from the armpits of the batter (approximately where the batter’s team name appears) and the knees. And the pitch has to go over the plate.

I can see a time in the not too distant future where sensors will be embedded into batter’s uniforms and on the outline of each Major League Baseball home plate.

And, of course, since we are dealing with baseball, this won’t be foolproof. There will be “gamesmanship.” Maybe not pine tar or corked bats, but hacked sensors? Maybe new sports IT labs in Silicon Valley will provide players or teams with “special” sensors?

Seriously, the amazing thing is that as wearables become more familiar to the public all this may be not only possible but acceptable to all, and a lot sooner than anyone would think.