Speculur: Unlocking avenues to new age cricket
The wave of modern entrepreneurship is sweeping the whole world; transforming entirely the way we live. The inventive minds of the landscape have been leveraging the best of the technology advancements at full tilt to come up with such creative solutions that have revolutionized how we shop, how we travel, how we have entertain, how we educate; and now this paradigm shift also includes how we play. In technical game like cricket, conquering the bat demands extremely skillful handling of a bat and failing to do so usually results in negative outcomes and somehow implies losing the game. Nevertheless Cricket sits at the top of the ladder of globally most popular games; yet, when it comes to skill enhancing, batsmen still bank on their personal experiences and speculation on the shots they played to generate inferences and improve upon them. They lack in concrete data to support their conclusions with accuracy towards getting the desired results. Till the recent years, technology could not beget a solution that overpowers this complexity and shift gears in the entire game.
The ICC Champions Trophy of 2017 marked a critical year in the history of cricket for it introduced ‘smart gaming’bringing to the market an array of radical products such as drone pitch cameras and VR solutions. However, the most eye-popping component of that ‘smart’ was ‘the bat sense technology’ – a groundbreaking innovation that works on an app to help batsmen analyse their movements as well as track their bat speed. The star batsmen from leading teams were seen holding bats equipped with intelligent sensors studded on their handles. Entry of which has for sure heralded the advent of a new era accoutered in technology that would redefine how cricket has been played till now.This brilliant concept was the gift of Speculur Technology – a sports technology startup that had just traversed two years of its journey and hailed from Bangalore.
Incorporated in 2015, Speculur Technology Solutions Private Limited hails as a smart wearables and cognitive computing company that envisions metamorphosing sports training and performance. The three focus areas under its exclusive focus are: smart wearables for sport; fan engagement technologies and injury management & prevention tools. A brainchild of the best minds from the sports industry, Speculur has embarked on a journey that has already initiated progressive and radical change in the industry creating an ecosystem for smart sport wearable devices operating on sensors, applications, data storage and data analytics. An ecosystem which reinvents the gaming experience athletes, spectators, enthusiasts, fans, trainees as well as for retailers, broadcasters, journalists, analysts, technicians, coaches and others. The core team is a home to experts and veterans in Sports Marketing and International Retail Distribution as well as icons from the industry.
Speculur Bat Sense
Speculur’s flagship product, BatSense is the first ever bat sensor the world has seen and has been developed in collaboration with tech giant, Intel. The product is actually a tiny device/sensorthat appears to be a small coin; weighs less than 15 grams and is protected by a silicon rubber covering; when itsplaced inside a sleeve, that sits on top of the bat, itenables recording of significant details such as how many balls have been played, bat lift angle, speed of the bat and other such details. The system needs three elements to function: a sleeve, the sensor and an application that helps analysis with the captured information. The device records all the movements happening when the bat comes in contact with the ball. All the information picked up is displayed on an application (works on both the Android and IOS operating systems) as soon as it gets connected to the device via Bluetooth. The product operates through an Intel Curie processor embedded inside; working along with an array of measuring sensors to enable tracking of the shots in real time.One time usage output of the product is approximatelyeight hours of play.
This revolutionary sensor enables 360° analysis of every shot taken by the bat and thus empowers players and the coaches with detailed information to strategize and plan skill enhancement and game development. Expounding about the dynamism of the product, Mr. Atul Srivastava – Founder &Managing Director at Speculur says, “The bat is the player’s weapon. We knew there had to be a way to make this weapon more powerful. BatSense enhances the bat, by unlocking it and letting the batsmen know, how to make better and smarter use of this weapon.”
The BatSense’s entry into the market entails two years of dedicated research before it was presented to International Cricket Council; which was followed by rigorous checking of its performance to be finally accepted for usage in tournament.The product has successfully proven its mettle in the tournament and has already taken the cricket world by storm. Speculur now aims to reach out to all aspiring and budding crickets with this product so that they can gain a better understanding of their batting skills analyzing them with accuracy through the data. The product is expected to be launched soon for the Indian market at an approximate price of INR 10,000.
During a conversation with The CEO Magazine, Mr. Atul Srivastava – Founder at Speculur shares about what inspired him to bring such a product to the market, “Speculur BatSense is not just an incredibly advanced sensor which records every pulse of the shot but is a product of negligible size which makes it easy to use. Kids grow up watching their favorite players on TV. The budding players look for the wagon wheels of their favorite cricketers after they achieve a milestone, andtry to reach inferences based on theanalysis they get to see on screen. Now this data is a result of high quality cameras and other fancy equipment. I always thought about how could a kid, an aspiring cricketer get access to this information in the form of data and even more for an affordable price.”
Atul’s spirited passion for cricket since his childhood gave him the entrepreneurial spark and drove him into the world of sports. He began his career as a corporate professional and gathered a diverse experience in leading roles; which gave him rich background to take initiatives for the development of this industryin the scenario of accelerated globalization. The year 2006 marked a significant period for Atul as he began his entrepreneurial career with a Talent management company named Gaames Unlimited. The company, today, thrives as the most diversified sporting conglomerate with footprints across a broad spectrum of business verticals. Standing as a vanguard of innovation and excellence in landscape of sports, Gaames Unlimited has a grand portfolio that encompasses management of internationally renowned sport persons and cricket academies; and strategic consulting to stakeholders in sports business for licensing programs.
Such a robust and dynamic backdrop coupled with his profound vision for the industry further fed his fervor to embark on a glorious journey – Speculur. He says, “In the initial phase of operations at Gaames, we signed the whole of the U-19 Team World Cup winning team including Virat Kohli. We later expanded and our business network and excellence gave us confidence to join hands with the ICC. In 2010, we signed up with the International Cricket Council as the Licensing Partners in India, the middle-east & the USA. The evolution of Speculur was my dream to involve technology with a game that’s so highly relies on technique. Also, building need of precision in everything including every shot played led us to incorporating this company. My keen interest in sports; backed bywide networks and the deep understanding of how the entire industry works have been the key behind establishing this organization.”
BatSense – the dawn of a new era in cricket
Introducing an avant garde product like BatSense, Speculur came into limelight within few weeks of its launch in ICC. In a short span of time, it revolutionized the cricket equipment industry bringing to the table a brilliant concept of immense significance. Empowered to record players’ flaws in real time,this cutting edge product has changed how players train themselves and the way shots are analyzed within no time. Taking such strides in other equipment verticals, the core team is now looking forward to expand its suite of products with HelmetSense, BallSense, ShoeSense, GloveSense and PadSense. This leaves no doubt that Speculur’s endeavors in this industry space bespeak of a monumental breakthrough at a point of time when its growthhas been stagnating since past few years on a global scale. The core team now envisions to hand-over power of such tech savvy and ingenious tools to each and every sportsman across the globe helping him unleash his potential and reach new heights. In line with that, Speculur eyes all cricket playing nations as its key markets already having strong footprints in major cricket countries namely England and Australia.