Over the last 2 years, wearable tech has changed the face of sports in India and the technology is being widely applied to track the performance metrics. Though we have seen tech advancements in the form of video analytics and wearable sleeves for bowlers, there is still an untapped market for delivering IoT-based, insightful coaching for batsmen in an intuitive and granular way; for getting that extra 1%.
For a populous and developing country like India, accessing state-of-the-art coaching is almost a luxury for many aspiring cricketers. It might seem paradoxical that for the kind of popularity the game of cricket enjoys in our country, we still fall short on the infrastructure end.
Today, domestic coaches can freely access and tap into the techniques from cricket archives available on YouTube and, almost make a case study out of each successful cricketer. But, nothing can outclass a personal, interactive personal trainer.
Bridging the gap between technology and personal coaching is tricky. But, now it seems like, we have found an answer in the form of STANCEBEAM.
Daring To Dream Big
StanceBeam is the byproduct of dreams and passions of two young guys from Punjab who wanted to make it big in the field of sports. But, as fate has it, as for many athletes, the founders Arminder Thind and Ishwinderpal Singh were forced to take up the conventional career options due to inaccessible and expensive coaching methods. Arminder Thind, CEO, StanceBeam held various managerial positions at consultancies and has a broad experience from his stint at Edusports and Aon. Having worked at Philips and Integra micro systems, co-founder, Ishwinderpal Singh, brings in rich expertise in the field of electronics, to the team at StanceBeam.
The founders seem to have found a sweet spot in their portfolios, which can be leveraged into realising their childhood dream of being associated with sports and eradicate the hurdles they themselves have faced. Their initial motive was to attenuate the inaccessibility and enable every budding cricketer to have an exposure to world class coaching.
Funding Blues & Bouncers
Convincing the stakeholders to believe in their product, had been one of the biggest challenges for the founders. A smart bat to visualise the movements of a batsman in 3D and that too without using cameras, a pitch like that can be quite difficult even for an average engineer to comprehend the mechanism that goes into building this product. So, one can imagine the position of the founders in their early pitching days.
The Government of Karnataka’s initiative to bring at least 100 startups into limelight, worked in favour of the founders as they came out in the top 90 out of 4000 competitors. This initial impetus in the form of Government funding helped StanceBeam gain traction.
Moving to Bangalore was one of the smartest choices made by the founders. A mature ecosystem like that of Bangalore, offers options which can hardly be found in any other city in India.
A unique product will obviously run into technical issues like lack of talent, resources and references. StanceBeam Striker was almost 5 years in the making. From early 2014, when the future CEO Arminder left his IT job to pursue his dreams. Over the course of next 4 years, the founders gathered a team of underdogs and people who understood the game well.
Together they built a prototype which could convince the funders. They not only have managed to convince but also have landed big with Kookaburra.
Striking The Right Balance With Striker
The advancements in the field of material science and electronics has seen a sporadic growth in the number of people using smart wearables. In the current market of smart gadgetry, StanceBeam is in a league of their own.
StanceBeam Striker is a flagship product which promises to offer high quality analytics assistance to the coach as well as the batsmen.
Striker comes with state-of the-art motion sensors and accelerometers which help track the swing of the bat and also calculate the impact when the bat strikes the ball. These stats then get updated on cloud which can be accessed via a smartphone application, built in-house under the expertise of the CEO, Arminder Thind.
“Numbers don’t make any sense if they are not visualised properly,” said Arminder Thind speaking to Curious Dose.
The data that is gathered from the sensors is run through algorithms which help visualising a replica of the batsman’s motion; the swing and the stance.
Real-time analytics with high accuracy lies at the core of StanceBeam Striker. Achieving accuracy scores of around 99%, the Striker promises to offer reliable coaching strategies.
To achieve such high accuracies, StanceBeam partnered with IISc Bangalore to test the motion sensing capabilities of their product. The infrared cameras and the industry standard testing facilities at IISc Bangalore helped StanceBeam score big.
For a company as young as StanceBeam, associating with manufacturing giants like Kookaburra, is a testimony to the conviction of the founders. Bangalore based StanceBeam has decided to launch Striker primarily in the Australian market. In Australia, the last quarter of a year, usually witnesses large number of cricket matches and for StanceBeam, it couldn’t have gotten any better.
The management at Kookaburra was impressed by the speed at which StanceBeam delivered on their promise. The flagship Striker was launch-ready within a span of 18 months, which is quite unheard of in the product based startup ecospace.
Priced at AU$250, Stancebeam Striker, is easily affordable to the cricket academies and even for individuals who want to make it big in the game. With mountable gear and rechargeable battery, Striker has all the signs of becoming a household name.
The CEO of StanceBeam stressed on the fact that their product is design to assist the coaches and make their jobs more intuitive and, not to remove them as a whole. With all the skepticism surrounding technology, it is very crucial for any smart device to retain the human connect while making the job easier.
Partnership with Kookaburra surely puts Stancebeam on the global map and it is only a matter of time before all cricketing nations imbibe interactive, more personal training gear into their arsenal.
Stancebeam Striker is poised to make its presence felt in the Indian market as well. The success in the Australian market definitely has boosted the team’s confidence and with little adjustments to suit the Indian market, StanceBeam Striker can make it really huge here, in India.
“No other kid should give up sports due to lack of coaching or high quality assistance like us, ” said Arminder Thind on a concluding note to Curious Dose.
With such unwavering passion and high affinity towards sports along with tech expertise of 25 years between them, it wouldn’t be surprising if the founders of StanceBeam foray into other sports as well.
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