Thursday, November 10, 2011

The HOT SPOT Technology

The Saga of LBW and Caught Behind
        In the early eighties, they introduced Stump Cameras to detect LBW and caught behinds, which served as a helper for the umpires to provide accurate decision. But, as years went on,the technology grew along with cricket and saw the invention of Snickometers in nineties. Still, the people of Channel 9, one of the great broadcasters of cricket in the world, were not satisfied. So, they invented The Hawk-Eye Technology in 2002.
      
       Still the big technocrat giants didnt sleep. They wanted to make another technology which will be still more accurate in judging these factors. So, they invented The HOT SPOT Technology during the 2006 Ashes Series.

What is hot spot?
       It is an infra-red imaging system, which employs infra-red cameras to capture the happenings of the ground. The basic principle of physics is applied here, which states that, infra-red rays are emitted by hot bodies. Hence, when two bodies come into contact, the impact produces some heat, which emits infra-red rays. Special infra red cameras are used to capture these images.

          Two or more infra-red cameras are situated in suitable parts of the ground on both the sides. They constantly record the proceedings of the ground. They are brought into effect, when there is a suspicion on whether the ball hit the bat or pad in the case of a Leg Before Wicket (lbw) appeal; and also to detect the edge in the case of a Caught Behind appeal.
       

            The infra red camera shows a series of color spectrum, which depicts the range of heat distribution in the focused area. When, the ball makes an impact on either the bat or pad, the heat generated is shown by a white spot on the impact area. From this, we can conclude the result. This technology is more accurate and produces the best result than the previous techniques. The above pictures shows two typical infra red images recorded by the IR camera. THe impact produced by the ball on the bat and pad can be seen by the white spot.

           The following video shows how hot spot proved to be correct at a place where Snickometer judged wrongly in a test match between Sri Lanka & England. The Snicko suggested an edge, where as the Hot Spot proved its predecessor wrong.
video

Why India Cannot Use it
            One of the major drawback in Hot Spot technology is that it cannot be used in the Subcontinent countries and South Africa. This is because, the average temperature of these places is usually 30 deg Celsius, which is very high for an IR camera to capture it as the whole capture area will be white, hence, any faint edges cant be determined by this technique.
            
              Apart from this, the Hot Spot proved to be a very healthy and useful innovation in the field of cricket. But, there is no end to innovations, as in future we might see even better techniques or even better improvisations of this technique can be done so that it can also be used in hotter countries.

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