The sensors, developed by Intel and sports startup Specular, will measure the bat’s speed and angle during back-lift, impact and follow-through. The figures will then be transmitted for immediate analysis by coaches and broadcasters. Like Hawk-Eye, a widely adopted sports camera system, this should lead to detailed visualisations during each game. Studio pundits can explain a player’s performance, suggest how they could improve and compare their technique to previous tournaments. Similarly, coaches can use this information to fine-tune training sessions and strategies.
Swing-sensing chips are new for cricket, however similar technology has been used in baseball bats, tennis racquets and golf clubs for years. It’s an alluring concept — why waste time perfecting a technique through trial and error alone? Or spend an extortionate amount on a trainer, when a wearable could provide similar insights? There’s something to be said for a seasoned coach, of course, but the added benefits of performance tracking are hard for professional players to ignore. Specular says a consumer version of its “BatSense” chip will be out later this year — so if you want to learn to bat like Chris Gayle, you’ll soon have the option of a digital trainer.