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Star India deepens fan engagement powered by Power Bat

Anil Kumble’s Microsoft AI-enabled Power Bat is a lightweight Azure Sphere-powered sticker on the shoulder of the bat that throws data on different parameters as soon as the batsman hits the ball

Star India has further deepened fan engagement with deploying technology in live broadcast of cricket. The broadcast network introduced Power Bat developed by Microsoft Corporation and Anil Kumble’s technology start-up, Spektacom Technologies.

The AI-enabled Power Bat is a lightweight Microsoft Azure Sphere-powered sticker stuck on the shoulder of the bat. In a live match, as soon as the batsman hits the ball, data on different parameters (speed in impact, twist on impact and quality of the shot- percentage proximity of the ball’s contact to the sweet spot of the willow) are captured in a new unit of the measurement titled Power Speks. The data is securely captured and processed. Using advanced analytics and AI services on Azure, real time insights are captured through the stump box and displayed via the broadcaster. During practice or coaching, the data can be viewed through a mobile app.

Microsoft has been working closely with Spektacom and its founder Kumble, former captain, Indian cricket team, to incubate and launch the product, as a part of its Scale Up programme. Star India, cricket broadcaster in India, used the same technology successfully in recent series to provide real-time statistics and insights straight off the oval.

Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice-President, Microsoft, said, “We’ve already seen the impact that connected devices have had in other industries, and we believe that with the advancements in our AI and cloud services, this is just the beginning of what’s possible for not only cricket, but all sports.”

Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India, said, “The Power bat promises to be another step in deploying technology to deepen fan engagement, and we look forward to the partnership with Anil Kumble (Spektacom) and Microsoft in bringing it to our broadcasts.”

“Our vision is to bring sports closer to fans through interesting ways of engagement using real-time sports analytics. At the same time, it is important that the technologies used are seamless and do not disrupt the games or obstruct the players,” said Kumble.

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