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ICC unveils technology, innovations through Intel partnership

MUMBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched a series of technological innovations in partnership with Intel. This will be launched during the Champions Trophy which kicks off on 1 June.

With the focus firmly on enhancing the tournament experience for fans, players, media and broadcasters, the innovations will use data, analytics and visualisation and ensure that cricket remains at the forefront of technological advancements.

The technology being introduced at the ICC Champions Trophy includes an Intel drone that will provide advanced pitch analysis, a bat sensor powered by an Intel® Curie™ module that will allow for profiling of the bat swing, and a VR experience for fans at the stadium.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Intel as our official innovation partner of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. The innovations Intel is bringing to the game promise to transform how cricket is experienced and enjoyed around the world, and we look forward to partnering with Intel in this effort,” said ICC CEO David Richardson.

Intel Sports Group VP Sandra Lopez highlighted the role of technology in transforming the way we play and view sports. With higher levels of digitisation, Intel is in a unique position to enable the sports industry to capture and analyse data to uncover and respond to new insights in real time. “Our goal is to lead the way forward into the digitisation and personalization of sports, transforming the way fans and athletes experience sports,” Lopez said.

In a first at the Champions Trophy, the Intel® Falcon™ 8 Drone, equipped with HD and infrared cameras, will be used for advanced pitch analysis before every match. Images captured by the drone will offer rich visual data on pitch conditions such as grass cover, grass health, and topology, which will be used to generate daily pitch reports leveraged by commentators during broadcasts.

The new bat sensor will be powered by the Intel Curie technology that can be mounted on any cricket bat to generate data for every stroke that the batsman plays. With this technology, parameters like back-lift, bat speed and follow-through can be tracked for every cricket stroke. Several batsmen will use these bat sensors in the games at the 2017 Champions Trophy, enabling new insights on stroke play and rich story-telling in broadcast. Analytics from the sensor will be available for fans to analyse.

Speculur MD Atul Srivastava said, “Speculur BatSense with Intel Inside has the potential to transform cricket across a varied audience from coaches to aspiring self-taught cricketers. Coaches can use their insights and expertise along with the bat sensor data to make specific adjustments to a batsman’s technique ultimately helping him perform better.”

Speculur also announced plans to bring this technology to consumers later in the year. With Speculur BatSense, hundreds of thousands of young and aspiring cricketers will soon be able to measure, track and improve their batting skills. Speculur plans to make Speculur BatSense with Intel Inside available in Australia, India, the United States and the UK in the second half of 2017.

Intel is also showcasing innovative experiences for in-stadium fans. Virtual Reality (VR) experience zones at The Oval and Edgbaston will allow fans to experience facing a virtual bowler in an immersive cricketing environment. Using a head mounted display (HMD), the player will be able to test his or her batting skill against a virtual bowler. Using the Intel Curie technology enabled cricket bat, the player will be able to see data from their swing such as bat speed and back-lift angle as well as a simulated score from the VR session.