Badminton introduces speed tracker technology

After a long haul in development, the new speed-tracking system in badminton has made its debut at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open.

The new technology, which has been developed Hawk-Eye Innovations, was tested at five other tournaments before making its proper first foray into top level competition. This competition marks the second year in a row that Hawk-Eye has brought new tech to the sport, and last year’s instant-review system for line calls appearing at the World Superseries in New Delhi, made a huge splash.

The new system consists of two or more high-frame-rate cameras mounted above the court, which track the trajectory of the shuttlecock and display the speed at which it’s travelling. More importantly, they also show the reaction times of players that keep the rally going. 

Badminton Operations Manager at Hawk-Eye Innovations, Lee Jones told the Badminton World Badminton Federation: “Tracking a shuttle is much harder than tracking a tennis ball for example due to the nature of a shuttle’s flight path. 

“A ball has a pre-determined path most of the time whereas a shuttle is much more unpredictable,” he added.

The accuracy of the technology is able to show the speed of the shuttle in real time, right from when it leaves the racquet. These speeds are then displayed to the audience and commentators with flashy graphics to increase the engagement of the spectators as well as show another dimension of the game.

“Speed is one of the big selling points of our sport – it’s the fastest racket sport in the world. Now we will be able to show those numbers in graphics and TV can overlay that in a live production,” says Lund.

The system will be used to record and build up data for stats on players to eventually produce a players’ leaderboard.