Is the biggest ever innovation in cricket bats on the horizon?
I’ve always been interested in cricket bat design, having been apart of the team behind the Fusion Skyer and later the Mongoose bat. So I keep a keen eye on developments and patent applications in this area. I also love the marketing and technology behind products, and am totally enamoured by the idea of technology revolutionising the game.
One of the buzz words in tech at the moment is gamification, whereby a company takes a product or service and turns it into a game thereby creating a community and a fun product people want to have. One of the most famous examples is the Nike + application, where you record distances run and compare them to friends and try to beat their time and improve your own. Cricket being such a statto’s game has great potential for a similar application.
So – when this patent application popped up last year from Essentialls99 (the guys behind Boom Boom) it got me all excited.
Patent Application WO/2011/110806 is for an ‘improved sports bat.’ which doesn’t sound so exciting in itself. However digging a little deeper it gets a lot more exciting.
The application looks to build on current technologies in cricket such as Hawk Eye and implement them into the bat, by way of sensors positioned along the bat.
By placing vibration sensors inside the bat, the inventors hope that the bat will record strikes and then this can be processed by the micro-processor cleverly hidden at the top of the handle. Using technology such as wifi and bluetooth this could then transfer the data of the shots made and the power used to create a chart. It could potentially improve coaching, as well producing gamification and even helping umpires out with edges.
The data could also be used by manufacturers of cricket bats, to find out where the majority of players strike the ball and shapes could be optimized to produce more power for the players.
The possibilities are endless and even if the technology is there, there’s always the guardians of the game, the MCC standing in the way. But take a look at some of these screenshots and just have a think at how revolutionary such a bat could be, in way of marketing, technological improvements to the bat, coaches and also improving the decision making of umpires. It’s truly exciting.