Intel drones and sensors make cricket debut

Drones for analysing wickets and bats with sensors are two of the technological innovations that Intel is bringing to cricket’s ICC Champions Trophy.

The tech company, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips, says it wants to transform how cricket is experienced by both fans and players. Its Falcon 8 Drone captures high definition and infrared images of pitches, allowing for better analysis. According to the company, visual data on wicket conditions such as grass cover, grass health and topology will be used to produce daily reports, which commentators will have access to during broadcasts.

Elsewhere, several players throughout the tournament will be using a new sensor that can be mounted on any cricket bat. Manufactured by Speculur and employing Intel’s Curie technology, the sensor will generate data for every stroke played, capturing information on back-lift, bat speed and follow-through. It is also planned to make the technology available to the public in Australia, India, the UK and the US later this year.

“Speculur BatSense with Intel Inside has the potential to transform cricket across a varied audience from coaches to aspiring self-taught cricketers,” said Speculur managing director Atul Srivastava.

“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.”

Intel is also showcasing VR experiences at The Oval and Edgbaston, where fans will be able to test their batting skills against a virtual bowler in a simulated environment. Using a head mounted display (HMD) and the sensor-enabled bat, fans will be able to analyse the parameters of their swing, as well as keep track of their score on the virtual wicket.