Former captain Anil Kumble's start-up firm launches AI-enabled 'Power Bat'
Former India captain Anil Kumble's technology start-up Spektacom Technologies on Thursday launched the "Power Bat" -- a unique tool powered by Microsoft's Azure Cloud platform and its Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) services.
The Power Bat can provide real-time data on a player's performance based on different parameters such as the speed of the ball on impact, the twist on impact and quality of the shot.
Spektacom and Microsoft roped in Star India as the broadcasting partner to provide fans and viewers with a new way to engage with the sport.
"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," Anil Kumble said.
"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," Kumble added.
At the core of the technology is a lightweight 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 are captured in a new unit of measurement titled Power Speks.
Microsoft's Azure Sphere, an operating system for IoT applications, 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.
During practice or coaching, the same data can be viewed through a mobile app, Microsoft said.
"We're partnering with Spektacom to bring real-time insights and new experiences to cricket fans and players alike, completely changing the way they experience the sport," Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Microsoft, told IANS.
"By leveraging Azure, its AI and IoT services, Spektacom can deliver details on player performance, which can be used in everything from scouting to training as well as improving the fan experience," she said.
Microsoft had been working closely with Spektacom to incubate and launch the product as part of its ScaleUp programme, designed to offer access to sales, marketing and technical support to Series A start-ups.
"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," Johnson said.
(With inputs from agencies.)