Linear Acceleration Measurement Utilizing Inter-Instrument Synchronization: A Comparison between Accelerometers and Motion-Based Tracking Approaches
Where as video cameras are a reliable and established technology for the measurement of kinematic parameters, accelerometers are increasingly being employed for this type of measurement due to their ease of use, performance, and comparatively low cost. However, the majority of accelerometer-based studies involve a single channel due to the difficulty associated with synchronizing multiple accelerometer channels. The authors of this article outline a method to synchronize multiple accelerometers using a maxima detection method. Results are presented that demonstrate the effectiveness of the new synchronization method with 52 of 54 recorded data sets showing no time lag error and two tests showing an error of .04 sec. Inter-instrument and instrument-video correlations are all greater than r = .94 (p < .01), with inter-instrument precision (Root Mean Square Error; RMSE) ≈ .1ms?2, demonstrating the efficacy of the technique. In conclusion, the new technique offers a robust solution, giving further support to the movement toward wider adoption of accelerometer-based performance measurement systems in sports science.