Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Hawk-Eye Technology

We all watch live telecasting of games like Cricket and Tennis!
                In the 2011 Cricket World Cup final at Wankhede Stadium, when Malinga dropped the ball short with low bounce, and Sehwag playing on the back foot, got the ball rammed straight on his front pads. When the umpire raised his finger, the whole stadium got muted. Sehwag asked for the review, and the Hawk-Eye technology was used to check the correctness of the ball.

        Or in Tennis, when Nadal played a back-hand against Federer to score a point on the edge of the line, Hawk-Eye Technology was used to check the point where the ball pitched.

         Have we ever wondered how the Hack-Eye Technology for the ball-tracking works on?

        Hawk-Eye is a complex computer system used in cricket, tennis and other sports to visually track the trajectory of the ball and display a record of its most statistically likely path as a moving image based on the position, orientation and angle of movement of the previous positions of the ball.

        It was developed by engineers at Roke Manor Research Limited of Romsey, Hampshire in the UK, in 2001. Hawk-Eye systems are based on the principles of triangulation using the visual images and timing data provided by at least four high-speed video cameras located at different locations and angles around the playing area. The system rapidly processes the video feeds by a high-speed video camera and ball tracker. A data store contains a predefined model of the playing area and the data on the rules of the game.

        In each frame sent from each camera, the system identifies the group of pixels which corresponds to the image of the ball. It then calculates for each frame the 3D position of the ball by comparing its position on at least two of the physically separate cameras at the same instant in time. A succession of frames builds up a record of the path along which the ball has traveled. It also predicts the future flight path of the ball and where it will interact with any of the playing area features that are already programmed into the database. The system can also be used to interpret these interactions to make decisions on the state of the game based on the rules that are fed into it.

       The system generates a 3D graphic image of the ball path and playing area, which means that information can be provided to judges, television viewers or coaching staff in near real time.

Hawk-Eye In Games
            Recently, Hawk-Eye Technology has also been incorporated in Cricket related games, to provide more realistic effects to it. Codemasters Inc got the license for using the Hawk-Eye technology in the games which they develop and it was been used in its recent games like, Brian Lara International Cricket 2007, Ashes Cricket 2009, International Cricket 2010 and Smash Court Tennis 3.

              This is just the starting phase of the Technology, of later, we could see lots of developments and innovations made in this technology, as its the era of technology and innovations.


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