Microsoft and Anil Kumble’s technology startup, Spektacom Technologies, with support from Star India, have announced the introduction of the ‘Power Bat’, which provides players, coaches, commentators, fans and viewers with a 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 (IoT) Internet of Things services.
Microsoft has been working closely with founder Of Spectacom Anil Kumble, former coach and captain, Indian cricket team, to launch the product, as part of its ScaleUp program. Star India, the leading cricket broadcaster in India, has used the technique successfully in recent series to provide real-time statistics and insights straight off the oval.
Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Microsoft said that “We ’re very excited to be a part of the work Spektacom and Star India are doing to enhance the cricket experience for fans, players and coaches. 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.”
Managing Director od Star Sanjay Gupta said “Star India has 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 toward 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 Anil Kumble (Spektacom) and Microsoft in bringing it to our broadcasts.”
“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.” Said, Anil Kumble.
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 are captured in a new unit of measurement titled Power Speks. Microsoft’s Azure Sphere 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.