We worked closely with Intel and Speculur to create ‘Batsense’, a smart sensor for budding cricketers that provides data and analytics on their batting performance to assist them in their training. Smart technology, being completely new to cricket posed various challenges - such as where to place the sensor on the bat, how to prevent the removable sensor from detaching under high G-force impacts and how the player should interact with the device while wearing batting gloves. Once the data was collected, it needed to be presented on a mobile app. We had to design and prioritize what information to present to the player and coach. The app design needed to encourage engagement and create a positive impact on the player's training and performance.
The Batsense smart sensor analyses a player's batting stroke and presents real-time analytics that can be used to improve gameplay. It fits snugly on top of a bat handle, creating a beautiful detail that completes the cricket bat form factor, without any interference. Wearing batting gloves limits dexterity so a single large button user interface was created to enable fast and consistent interaction. From design to working product and intuitive mobile app in a matter of months, Batsense made its first debut at the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in London. TV Viewers across the globe could see real-time stroke information of their favorite players, for the first time.
The technology architecture lies within the removable sensor. It was designed to resist dust and water and went through extensive testing to handle the G-forces experienced during a game. A secure wing lock system keeps the sensor fastened to the bat. A tethered key helps release the puck from the sleeve, allowing access to the USB port for charging or service.
We explored various styling cues that were sport driven and looked at both symmetric and directional designs. We experimented with different ways to display information using LED and audio feedback. Cut out windows or molded guidelines help align the sensor to the bat face. Over-molded plastic c-rings at the sleeve base, allow the device to slide easily over the bat handle.
We brought our in-depth understanding of the product and brand, to design the mobile app concept. The DNA of Batsense was carefully infused into the app’s aesthetic and functionality, creating a holistic design. The dynamic homepage allows the user to swipe and scroll to view information that is most relevant to them. The overall sporty and youthful feel lends itself to young cricketers and coaching academies.