It provides real-time data on a player’s performance based on different parameters such as speed and twist of the bat’s impact with the ball and the quality of the shot.
Former India cricket captain Anil Kumble’s technology start-up, Spektacom Technologies, on Thursday launched the “Power Bat” – a unique tool to revolutionize cricketing experience for players and fans.
Built in collaboration with Microsoft, this AI-enabled Power Bat can provide real-time data on a player’s performance based on different parameters such as speed and twist of the bat’s impact with the ball and the quality of the shot. Thus offering players, coaches, commentators, fans and viewers with a completely new and unique way to engage with the sport and help improve their game.
The tool is powered by Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform and its Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) services.
Spektacom was incubated under Microsoft’s ScaleUp program that offers access to sales, marketing and technical support to startups.
Star India, as their broadcast partner, has already used the technology successfully in recent Tamil Nadu Premier League.
“Our vision is to bring sports closer to fans through interesting ways of engagement using real-time sports analytics. At the same time, it is important that the technologies used are seamless and do not disrupt the game or obstruct the players. With Microsoft, we have been able to create a secure and effective solution, and with Star India, we have a partner that can stimulate and excite fan engagement,” Anil Kumble said.
The technology behind the Power Bat
At the core of the technology is a lightweight Azure Sphere-powered sticker which is stuck on the shoulder of the bat.
In a live match, as soon as the batsman hits the ball, data on different parameters (speed on impact, twist on impact and quality of the shot — percentage proximity of the ball’s contact to the sweet spot of the willow) are captured in a new unit of measurement titled Power Speks.
Microsoft’s Azure Sphere ensures that the data is securely captured and processed. Using advanced analytics and AI services on Azure, real-time insights are captured through the stump box and displayed via the broadcaster.
Using a mobile app, fans and viewers can also view the real-time stats of every ball right from their phones.
Peggy Johnson, executive vice president, Microsoft said that with the advancements in their AI and cloud services, this is just the beginning of what’s possible for not only cricket but all sports.
Sanjay Gupta, managing director, Star India, maintained that their channel has always strived to redefine and elevate experiences for sports fans and the Power Bat promises to be another step in their commitment toward creating new benchmarks in how technology is deployed to deepen fan engagement