The tech heavyweight Intel has partnered with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to bring a new batch of innovations to the world of cricket.
Cricket’s never been the most high tech of sports, but recently decided to get involved and brought a plethora of new initiatives to advance the sport. Partnering with the ICC in time for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 (which started in England on June 1st), it hopes to make cricket more scientific.
First is the smart bat device – BatSense – which is a sensor the batter places on the top of the bat’s handle. It uses Intel’s Curie module to record and send back data on the whole swing including back lift, velocity and follow through. This will give batters and coaches far more feedback on form than currently available, and should lead to batters being able to recognise and work on their weak areas.
Next is Intel’s Falcon 8 Drone. This will fly around the pitch using HD and infrared cameras to analyse the condition of grass health and topology. It’s designed to help ground keepers maintain the pitch and help broadcast commentators report on the state of the field.
And finally, Intel is showcasing its VR offering at both The Oval and Edgbaston cricket grounds. Open to the public, users will be able to put on a VR headset and see what it feels like to be a batter. The user will have a bat with BatSense so the swing will be accurately replicated in the VR.
BatSense is the innovation that will have the biggest effect on the sport – Intel are planning on making this a consumer product in the UK, US, India and Australia in the second half of 2017, so it’ll help the sport at a grass roots level. Recent smart devices to help people with form have included a yoga range that gives users feedback when doing something wrong, and smart trainers that help runners avoid injury. What other sports could benefit from a tech injection like this?