Microsoft Artificial Intelligence (AI) could soon revolutionize data collection in the game of cricket, enhancing methods to analyze batsmen’s performance as well as the fan experience.
Partnering with former Indian cricketer Anil Kumble’s startup Spektacom, Microsoft has developed a five gram, credit card sized AI chip that can be attached to a cricket bat to transmit real-time data on four measurable parameters that will determine the efficacy of a cricket shot; quality, speed, twist, and speed. It can also measure the power transferred from the ball to the bat at the moment of impact. This data can be used by both professional and amateur players to improve performance via instant feedback. Bats fitted with the chip are referred to as ‘Powerbats.’
The data from the chip is captured and processed by Microsoft’s Azure Sphere, a Linux-based operating system created by the company for Internet of Things applications. The information is then stored in Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform. From here the data is provided to players, coaches, trainers, broadcasters, commentators and the audience during a match (or after it). In professional games, the sticker communicates using Bluetooth Low Energy with an edge device called the Stump Box which is buried behind the wicket.
The AI stickers can be charged using any wireless charger. According to Kumble, the sticker will fully charge in 90 minutes and a single charge lasts 48 hours. The former India cricket team captain also says that the chip would not be intrusive for batsmen.
“If it’s intrusive, you wouldn’t want to use it no matter what valuable data is thrown at you. It doesn’t change the balance (of the bat) or pick-up. The data that comes out will only enhance the performance and skill,” he said.