Hawk-Eye Set To Bring Latest Version of SMART Baseball Coaching System to MLB Winter Meetings
Hawk-Eye Innovations — the company famous for the virtual line-judging system in tennis and goal-line technology in soccer — is looking to bring disruptive technology to baseball coaching.
At next week’s Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville, Hawk-Eye is lined up to meet with all 30 clubs to show off the latest edition of its SMART Baseball Coaching System, a video- and data-rich coaching analysis tool that hopes to change the way players and managers break down game film, scout opponents, and more.
Hawk-Eye trialed the first edition of the software last year, introducing it to clubs during Spring Training. About half the teams got on board for the full season. Now, with a year of R&D in the field, Hawk-Eye is hoping even more coaching staffs will buy in to the technology.
“These are a lot of the things that coaches and players have come to want and come to want immediately,” says Jason Bernstein, managing director, USA, Hawk-Eye Innovations. “We’re adding even better data and a cooler, slicker way to deliver those video files to players and coaches offline so that they can have access to all of those features when they are traveling to play their next opponent.”
The SMART Coaching System is developed in partnership with Inside Edge, whose application enables the notes-to-video feature to extract important insights from the data being analyzed, and PlayerLync, whose proprietary content compression and sleep-mode synchronization allows sharing of large amounts of content (including video) despite WiFi or data connection.
The offline mode is a particularly exciting enhancement for Bernstein, who notes that it’s a huge factor with the amount of travel baseball teams undertake. Now players and coaches can access the entire system on an iPad at anytime.
Hawk-Eye is also working with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), whose real-time data-tracking systems, Statcast and PITCHf/x, are providing fans and teams with a whole world of new data, especially surrounding defense. This year’s version of SMART Baseball Coaching System will integrate some of that deeper data for teams.
“Part of the feedback that we got from the teams was seeing more enhanced data here or there,” says Bernstein. “We’re really excited about the disruptive technology that we’re able to bring to the clubs in a new way but also utilizing the existing data that many of these clubs have formed relationships with. This is the kind of thing that Hawk-Eye is in the U.S. market to do.”