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The Future of Cricket- Drones and Sensors

The Future of Cricket- Drones and Sensors
Future of Cricket

Ever since cricket originated in the 16th Century, the sport has come a long way. With its constant evolution with time, the technology has also kept up with the pace and has changed according to new trends. Today, the experience of watching a cricket match is far more engaging and technologically-driven than in the 1990s or 1980s.

Changing with time

In a bid to promote the sport on the digital platform and have more fan following, Intel wants to further contribute in a big way and wants to change the way cricket is played. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is adopting new technologies in order to keep up with the digital age.  In 1992, when India was playing against South Africa in Durban, the concept of third umpire came into existence, who could be consulted for the decisions of run outs, boundaries, stumping and LBW.

The Future of Cricket

DRS or decision review system came into existence 16 years after that during the Test series between India and Sri Lanka. The system provides the chance for the players to challenge decisions made by the on-field umpires, and have them referred to the third umpire. Since then the sport has seen many technologies like Hawk-Eye, UltraEdge, Snickometer, Hot Spot being used.

SpiderCam, Stump Camera, PitchVision, LED Bails have enhanced the way we use to watch the game of cricket.

Digitization of Cricket

Before the first ball could be bowled at the Oval, on June 1, 2017, the one thing which grabbed the eyeballs of the spectators in the stadium and millions of viewers watching it on the television, was the Intel Falcon 8 drone which was being used for the first time for pitch analysis. Also making the debut in this tournament is bat sensors and virtual reality experience zones on the ground. All these technical advancements were backed by Intel.

The Future of Cricket

Intel Falcon 8 drone

The Intel Falcon 8 Drone is being used for advanced pitch analysis before every game. The Intel Falcon is an advanced, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) designed for professional use. It can get 180-degree, unobstructed views, and excellent stability with the unique, patented V-shaped design.

Know all about Intel Falcon drone

How does a drone collect data and how can it be used?

Drones are all about the data that they gather. The amount of data that they gather is huge. They are the new flying computers.

When you look at a drone you need to think of it in three pieces. One is controlling a drone, which has data collection as well. It is called command and control. Second is data that is collected on the payload, which means transferring a video or picture.

Then there is data-packets that comes from a drone to a Cloud or a device. The data can then be loaded on a PC or in Cloud. You can visualize that information on a tablet, phone or computer worldwide. So, it’s stored in Cloud and you can look at it in different places.

These are three different parts of a chain and communication is integral in every aspect. Communication could be wireless like Wi-Fi, LTE or even 5G in the future.  Volumes of data get transferred from one point to another, being analysed and making useful information. At the end of the day, it’s not what the data is but what can it tell you.

In the case of Pitch report, images captured by the drone using HD and infrared cameras will provide rich visual data on pitch conditions, such as grass cover, grass health and topology. These useful information can be used by experts to generate pitch reports.

Drones are becoming flying computers

Cricket Bat Sensor

Intel used a coin-sized Intel Curie compute module, it is a wireless data processing hub with motion sensors and built in algorithms, to measures eight classifications of a batman’s swing, It also includes back lift angle, follow-through angle, impact angle, maximum bat speed, bat speed at impact, time to impact, and 3D swing and plane path. It weighs less than 25 grams and fits into sleeves covering the bat handle.

The Future of Cricket- Drones and Sensors
Intel’s Bat Sensor

These measurements can be televised, so fans see more precisely a batsman’s performance.

The technology will help coaches and players and will also tell how batsmen adjust to different bowlers. Speculur, a smart wearables and consumer “Internet of Things” company, which helped Intel develop the Bat Sensor, has announced that the bat sensor will be rolled out to consumers later this year.

Specular BatSense” can help aspiring cricketers measure, track and improve their batting skills.

The ICC named Intel an “Innovation Partner” in April.

David Richardson, CEO, ICC, said in a statement, “We couldn’t be more excited to have Intel as our ‘Official Innovation Partner’ of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. The innovations Intel are 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.”

Technology is indeed opening up new possibilities. Experts can know detailed and accurate pitch report, batsman can make use of Bat Sensor to improve their game, fans watching live broadcast will see new data about pitch, bat swing and tournament attendees gets to experience the thrill of cricket in virtual reality (VR).