The Hundred and Sky have joined forces to develop an ‘industry first augmented reality experience’ ahead of this week’s opening games in the new competition.
The coverage will use avatars using motion capture, recreating each player’s full range of movement in accurate detail, which will be used to enhance Sky’s broadcast coverage and at home fan experience via The Hundred app.
The avatar technology - housed on The Hundred app - will also be used as a world-first in broadcasting on Sky Sports from 21st July during the opening game of Oval Invincibles V Manchester Originals. The technology will also be available for fans via Sky Sports’ digital platforms.
The avatars have been created using ‘MetaStar’, Dimension Studio’s hyper-real avatar solution and the AR experience created by immersive experience creative agency Arcade in a bid to bring fans closer to the players than ever before.
The Hundred says the move is part of its ambition to put digital innovation ‘at the heart of the event experience’, as it looks to draw broader audiences into cricket.
“Through our partnership with Sky, the creation of our hyper-real avatars will bring fans and players together on an unprecedented level,” said Alison Crowe, Director of Digital and Data, ECB.
“Imagine having a virtual Heather Knight, Saqib Mahmood, or Ben Stokes showcasing their skills in your home – it’s incredibly exciting. We can’t wait for fans to try it out through The Hundred app, where they can also vote for the match hero in each game, vote for the music a player will walk out to and test their knowledge with some fun trivia – there’s something for all the family to get involved with.”
Bryan Henderson, Sky Sports Director of Cricket added: “We are so excited to present this incredible technology to our viewers. We have worked in partnership with The Hundred on a fan-first approach we believe will open the game up to new audiences.
“The Hundred will have a bespoke look and feel on TV and the avatars are a key part of what will make our coverage so dynamic. We have worked hard on every aspect of our presentation to ensure we have something for everyone, and I have every confidence the avatars will become one of the most popular aspects of our storytelling.”
The opening game, between Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals, will be a women’s match in a first for a UK league, and will take place on Wednesday 21st July.