Microsoft gives cricket a boost with the Power Bat
Cricket fans everywhere are about to see true innovation in the sport with the launch of the “Power Bat”.
The bat was launched by Microsoft in conjunction with Spektacom Technologies and their broadcast partner Star Indian on October 11. Launched in Mumbai, India, the Power Bat provides players, coaches, commentators, fans and viewers with a completely new and unique way to engage with the sport and help improve their game — all powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform using AI and Internet of Things (IoT) services.
Microsoft has been working closely with Spektacom and its founder Anil Kumble, a former captain, Indian cricket team, to incubate and launch the product. Star India, the leading cricket broadcaster in India, has used the technology successfully in recent series to provide real-time statistics and insights straight off the oval.
“We’re excited to be a part of the work Spektacom and Star India are doing to enhance the cricket experience for fans, players and coaches,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president, Microsoft. “We’ve already seen the impact that connected devices have had in other industries, and we believe that with the advancements in our AI and cloud services, this is just the beginning of what’s possible for not only cricket but all sports.”
The Power Bat is a unique concept whereby a lightweight, Azure Sphere-powered sticker is stuck on the shoulder of the bat — a form factor that is completely unobtrusive. 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.
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. During practice or coaching, the same data can be viewed through a mobile app.
Microsoft believes in leveraging its technology and its people to help sports teams and organisations solve their toughest challenges.
By leveraging the company’s intelligent cloud and productivity solutions, sports organisations worldwide are connecting with fans, optimising team and player performance, and managing their operations in new, innovative ways.
With the Caribbean Premier League reviving the local and regional interest in the sport, the Power Bat can truly engage fans in a new and interesting way should it be implemented in the league.