The era of IoT-based products is not limited to smart speakers or home appliances as recently Microsoft and Anil Kumble (former Indian national cricket team captain) founded technology startup ‘Spektacom Technologies’ made an announcement of the smart ‘Power Bat’ that will provide players, commentators, coaches, fans and other viewers of the cricket match with a unique way to engage with the sport. The new product will also enhance the game of cricket as it will collect the data using AI through the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and through the Internet of Things (IoT) services.
The former captain of Indian cricket team ‘Anil Kumble’ believes that the use of sensors in cricket has been for long limited. Anil Kumble who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and with expertise in cricket make the new suggestion even more valuable.
Anil Kumble used his expertise in cricket and knowledge of his startup Spektacom to engineer a new bat dubbed ‘Power Bat’. The bat is actually a sticker similar to the size of a credit card which measures the quality of the batter’s swing. There are reports of Spektacom and Microsoft collaborating on bringing improved sensor technology to cricket.
The power bat will be deployed to measure various parameters which may include the proximity of the swing to the sweet spot. The sweet spot is a terminology used to describe the swing that is used to achieve the desired speed in cricket by hitting the ball with the bat. The proximity of the swing will be studied by three main tools – the stump box, power bat sticker, and the AI analytics in the cloud.
Janakiram MSV from Forbes explains the process of sensor gathering the data to determine the speed of the swing. He said that the bat swing is measured for angle, thrust, and speed through the power bat sticker which weighs around five gram. The sensor data is then collected by IoT edge device near the Azure Sphere that prepares the data to be sent to the cloud for further analysis. In the cloud a machine will analysis the data for accuracy. In the final step, the quality of the swing is evaluated through a dedicated unit of measurement called “Power Speks”. The stats can be viewed from any smart device and a clearer understanding of the match can be gathered.
Kumble and his company are of the view that the shift will drastically change the way spectator experience the match in the real time. The sensor technology will enable coaches, commentators and fans to have detailed information about every shot and run on their respective smart devices. Spektacom is also in news for partnering with India Star which is India’s leading sports broadcaster for cricket. The broadcaster through the collaboration is hoping to include the real-time data into its coverage.
The potential of the Power Bat is immense in sports as after its adoption in cricket, the technology can be used for baseball bats, tennis rackets, and hockey sticks. Kumble in an interview with IANS said that the company aims to bring sports and fans closer by enhancing engagement of the fans in real time. The company, however, is also responsible to make sure that the technology does not cause any obstruction for the players.