Everyone knows that two eyes are better than one. Images are more precise with both eyes open.
Phoenix-based Yakkertech, which is named for an old term “yakker,” describing a big-breaking curveball, took this idea and applied it to cameras watching baseball and softball.
Since its founding in 2014, Yakkertech has created a stereo vision imaging system that provides accurate data on the elements of ball movement. It takes this data, stores it and makes it easily retrievable on a tablet.
The software engineers at Yakkertech created the most precise product to provide the most accurate spin data, especially the holy grail of pitching data: spin axis.
According to the company, no other system captures such clarity of a pitch. Knowing what a pitch does as it heads towards home allows players and coaches to improve the pitch using the data, which is available to coaches within four seconds. The system can measure accurately at any distance — it’s not limited to sixty feet, six inches (for the non-baseball fans: the distance between the mound and home plate).
Yakkertech was cofounded by Bill Bales and Greg Lumsden. Bales is also the founder of AboutGolf, an indoor golf simulator company that’s known as the most accurate golf ball and club tracking system.
Lumsden founded Scratch, an indoor golf training business. Eventually, Bales and Lumsden met and discussed advanced imaging in baseball.
Baseball in the 21st century places a lot of value on analytics. Lumsden told FUTRSPRT last summer that Yakkertech hopes to be “the dominant player in producing college player data for Major League Baseball” within the next couple of years.
The 2020 season was MLB’s first using machine-vision technology in all 30 ballparks, dropping Trackman and radar technology. The league partnered with Hawk-Eye to introduce the new version of tracking and analytics.
While Yakkertech wasn’t picked for that partnership, the company has a clear stake in college baseball — about 15 schools currently use Yakkertech equipment, including Vanderbilt, LSU and Florida.
“Keep your eye on the ball” — the first commandment in baseball — now takes on a whole new meaning.