The mThrow Wearable Sleeve Turns Baseball Pitching Into a Science

Teams are keen, but some pitchers see a downside to the data

4 min read
The mThrow Wearable Sleeve Turns Baseball Pitching Into a Science
Photo: Motus Global

/img/MotusmThrowsleeve-1440166801581.jpgPhoto: Motus Global

A wearable sensor that tracks strain on a pitcher’s elbow is making waves in major league baseball (MLB). This season, 27 MLB teams and their minor league affiliates are trying out the device, called the mThrow, in the hope that it will help monitor pitchers’ workloads, improve pitching mechanics, and prevent injuries. The device’s maker, Motus Global, in Massapequa, N.Y., plans to officially launch a consumer version this month. Teams seem to like it, but some players might have reservations about sharing their data.

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Restoring Hearing With Beams of Light

Gene therapy and optoelectronics could radically upgrade hearing for millions of people

13 min read
A computer graphic shows a gray structure that’s curled like a snail’s shell. A big purple line runs through it. Many clusters of smaller red lines are scattered throughout the curled structure.

Human hearing depends on the cochlea, a snail-shaped structure in the inner ear. A new kind of cochlear implant for people with disabling hearing loss would use beams of light to stimulate the cochlear nerve.

Lakshay Khurana and Daniel Keppeler
Blue

There’s a popular misconception that cochlear implants restore natural hearing. In fact, these marvels of engineering give people a new kind of “electric hearing” that they must learn how to use.

Natural hearing results from vibrations hitting tiny structures called hair cells within the cochlea in the inner ear. A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged or dysfunctional parts of the ear and uses electrodes to directly stimulate the cochlear nerve, which sends signals to the brain. When my hearing-impaired patients have their cochlear implants turned on for the first time, they often report that voices sound flat and robotic and that background noises blur together and drown out voices. Although users can have many sessions with technicians to “tune” and adjust their implants’ settings to make sounds more pleasant and helpful, there’s a limit to what can be achieved with today’s technology.

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