Artificial Intelligence and Cloud aim at revolutionizing cricket in India

Microsoft and Anil Kumble led startup Spektacom launch an AI-enabled power bat that can provide real time data to improve player performances and fan engagement in the cricketing world.

Photo Credit : Getty Images,

While technological trends continue to inspire various industries in India, cricket takes the center stage as Spektacom and Microsoft’s AI enabled Power Bat aims at revolutionizing sports for players and fans. Microsoft Corp and Anil Kumble’s startup, Spektakom Technologies along with support from broadcast partner Star India came together on 11th of October, 2018 to introduce the Power Bat. The Power Bat provides players, coaches, commentators, fans and viewers with new ways to gain real time data on a player’s performance all powered by Microsoft Azure cloud platform backed by AI and IoT services.

“We’re excited to be part of the work Spektacom and Star India are doing to enhance cricket experience for the fans, players and coaches. We’ve 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. We’re using the intelligent edge and cloud to bring something like what Spektacom is doing for sports in general for the betterment of many industries. 

The technology through our azure sphere takes all the information back up to the cloud which helps us to utilize this information in the most effective manner. I am sure that more and more sports around the world and India would want to adapt this technology for the betterment of the players and the game.” Said Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Microsoft at the launch.

The Power Bat is a unique concept whereby a lightweight, Azure Sphere-powered sticker is stuck on the shoulder of the bat which is completely unobtrusive. In a live match, as soon as a batsman hits the ball, data on different parameters like speed on impact, twist on impact and quality of the shot and placement of the ball on that bat are captured in a new unit of measurement titled Power Speks. Using advanced analytics and AI services on Azure, real-time insights are captured through the stump box and displayed via the broadcaster. The same data can also be viewed on a mobile application off the pitch.

While speaking at the event Anil Kumble, former captain, Indian Cricket Team and Founder, Spektacom said, “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. The start is to get information of the bat because that is what everyone wants to see and I as a bowler still feel it’s a batsman dominated game and that’s why this technology helps in getting a lot more nuances about batting. This is technology so it will only evolve and have enough room for trial and error for players off the pitch.”

“Star India always strived to redefine and elevate experiences for sports fans. From Multi-language feeds and Select Dugout to VR and Watch n Play, the coverage of Vivo IPL demonstrates our commitment towards creating new benchmarks in how technology is deployed to deepen fan engagement. The Power Bat promises to be another step in the same direction and we look forward to the partnership with Spektacom and Microsoft in bringing it to our broadcasters.” Said Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India.

Star India, one of the leading cricket broadcasters in India has used this technology in recent series to provide real-time statistics and insights straight off the Oval. The technology has been used in the Tamil Nadu Premiere League where it extracted data from one of the top batsman and leading run scorers. With Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing, Microsoft aims at influencing the sporting industry with technology.



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