Intel hopes IoT-enabled cricket bat will be a hit for six
Intel IoT Enabled Curie bat
Former English cricket captain-turned-commentator Nasser Hussain shows off a cricket bat loaded with Intel technology in the run up to the ICC Champions Trophy (Credit: Intel)

Intel hopes IoT-enabled cricket bat will be a hit for six

A smart cricket bat will help players and their coaches assess performance at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy, which gets underway this week.

Cricketers at the tournament, which begins on Friday and will be hosted at The Oval in London, Edgbaston in Birmingham and Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, will be using bats with sensors to help them play more effectively.

The sensor used in bats is a device created by smart wearables specialist Speculur called Speculur BatSense. The device sports an Intel Curie module, a low-power system-on-a-chip (SOC), which is fixed on the bat and produces data from every stroke. With this technology, parameters like back-lift, bat speed and follow-through can be tracked.

The smart bat will be available to consumers later in the year in Australia, India, the United States and the UK and is expected to cost around $150.

Speculur managing director 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.”

Read more: Catapult Sports on wearables in sport, improving player safety and the future of tactical decision-making

Drone rangers and virtual champions

Intel also plans deploy its Falcon 8 Drone, equipped with high-definition and infrared cameras, 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. This data will generate daily pitch reports used by commentators during broadcasts.

The company is also giving cricket fans the opportunity to try out virtual reality (VR) headsets at The Oval and Edgbaston. Wearing a head-mounted display (HMD), participants will be able to test their batting skills against a virtual bowler. Using the Intel Curie technology-enabled cricket bat, they will be also able to see data from a swing, such as bat speed and back-lift angle, as well as a simulated score from the VR session.

“Our goal is to lead the way forward into the digitization and personalization of sports, transforming the way fans and athletes experience sports,” said Intel Sports Group vice president Sandra Lopez.

Read more: CES 2017: Polar enters wearable clothing market with smart sports shirt