Microsoft Corp and Anil Kumble’s technology startup, Spektacom Technologies, with support from Star India, have announced the introduction of the ‘Power Bat’, which provides players, coaches, commentators, fans and viewers with a new and unique way to engage with the sport and help improve their game — all powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform using AI and Internet of Things (IoT) services.

“We’re excited to be a part of the work Spektacom and Star India are doing to enhance the cricket experience for fans, players and coaches. 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,” said Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Microsoft.

Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India, said, “Star India has always strived to redefine and elevate experiences for sports fans. From Multi-language feeds and Select Dugout to VR and Watch n’ Play, the coverage of Vivo IPL demonstrates our commitment toward creating new benchmarks in how technology is deployed to deepen fan engagement. The Power Bat promises to be another step in the same direction, and we look forward to the partnership with Anil Kumble (Spektacom) and Microsoft in bringing it to our broadcasts.”

Kumble commented, “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 game or obstruct the players. With Microsoft, we have been able to create a secure and effective solution, and with Star India, we have a partner that can stimulate and excite fan engagement.”

Although the technology introduced by Spektacom has its first use case in cricket, for Microsoft, Anil Kumble and Star India, this is the first of many sports where it can be used. Microsoft believes in leveraging its technology and its people to help sports teams and organisations solve their toughest challenges. By leveraging the company’s intelligent cloud and productivity solutions, sports organisations worldwide are connecting with fans, optimising team and player performance, and managing their operations in new, innovative ways.

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