The 2017 Champions Trophy, held in England and beginning on 1st June, sees the debut of several inventive and innovative high-tech initiatives – using use data, analytics and visualisation – are designed to enhance the tournament experience for fans, players, media and broadcasters alike.
These new technologies include an Intel drone (providing ‘advanced pitch analysis’), a bat sensor powered by an Intel Curie module (enabling the ‘profiling of the bat swing’) and a VR experience for fans at the stadium.
A Champions Trophy first, the Intel Falcon 8 Drone comes equipped with high definition and infrared cameras. It will be employed to provide advanced pitch analysis before every tournament match.
The images captured by the drone will offer broadcasters, media professionals, ground staff, coaches and players visual data to better understand pitch conditions: including variables such as grass cover, grass health, and topology.
It will generate ‘daily pitch reports’ leveraged by commentators during broadcasts.
The revolutionary new ‘bat sensor’ is powered by Intel’s Curie technology which can be mounted on any cricket bat.
It generates data on every single stroke played by the batsman plays: thus offering data on parameters such as ‘back-lift’, ‘bat speed’ and ‘follow-through’ all of which can be tracked for every stroke.
Several of the world’s leading batsmen will use the bat sensors during games in the 2017 tournament.
Speculur Managing Director Atul Srivastava claims that ‘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 will bring this bat tech to consumers later this year (starting in Australia, India, the USA and the UK in the second half of 2017) – thus enabling young and aspiring amateur cricketers to measure, track and improve their batting skills.
On the ground throughout the tournament, Intel will showcase a set of innovative experiences for fans in-stadium led by Virtual Reality experience zones at The Oval and Edgbaston.
These will allow fans to experience facing a virtual bowler in an immersive cricketing environment and will use head mounted displays (HMD) so that the VR player will be able to test his or her batting skills against a virtual bowler.
Linked to Intel’s Curie technology-enabled cricket bats, the player will even be 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.
These innovative cricket offerings were unveiled during a 30 May ICC media event which saw Intel executives take the stage to share the new innovations the brand is bringing to the tournament.
The joint ICC/Intel tech-led initiative is being promoted at the start of the Champions Trophy tournament by an integrated campaign running across both rights holder and tech partner digital and social channels.
These include a spearhead ‘Future Of Cricket’ explanatory film debuting on Intel’s channel on 30th May.
This set of tech developments are also being promoted via Intel’s PR-driven platforms – such as its Intel News channels – through its ‘Digitization Of Sport’ press kit (The Digitization of Sports).
‘We couldn’t be more excited to have Intel as our official innovation partner of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017’ said ICC CEO David Richardson at the launch event.
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’.
Intel Sports Group Vice President Sandra Lopez highlighted the role of technology in transforming the way we play and view sports and claimed that with higher levels of digitization, Intel is in a unique position to enable the sports industry to capture and analyze data to uncover and respond to new insights in real time.
‘Our goal is to lead the way forward into the digitization and personalization of sports, transforming the way fans and athletes experience sports’ Lopez argued.
Anuj Dua, director of marketing for Intel’s New Technology Group, also offered more specific details off the innovations, while former English captain-turned-commentator Nasser Hussain joined Dua on stage and stressed that technology has and will continue to positively affect cricket in a lot of ways.
Pretty much every aspect of the future of cricket – from player performance and game strategy, to adjudication and fan experiences – looks set to change radically through the introduction of this kind of new technology.
Sports technology is on an accelerative and revolutionary journey that even the carefully guarded traditions of cricket can’t avoid.
Just don’t bring them into an Ashes test series please!
Intel has been working in harness with a wide range of sports in recent months to change the way the games are played and the matches are enjoyed.
Among our favourite recent Intel sports activations are its ‘Drone Dunk’ stunt at the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend (see case study), its ‘March Madness 360 Degree’ initiative (see case study) and its award-winning activation at the X Games (see case study).
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