- Case Studies
High-Resolution Cameras and Machine Vision Deliver Precision Ball-Tracking and Real-Time Player-Tracking Capabilities to Enhance the MLB Fan Experience
August 20, 2020 - Hawk-Eye Innovations North America, a Sony group company, and Major League Baseball (MLB) have introduced Hawk-Eye’s sports tracking platform at all 30 MLB ballparks, as well as the Toronto Blue Jays’ temporary home in Buffalo, for the 2020 season. Hawk-Eye’s optical tracking system and vision-processing technology enable live ball and player tracking to +/- 0.1 inch accuracy with full-field coverage. This new platform provides MLB and Clubs with a continuous data stream to better assess all on-field activity, including pitcher/batter mechanics, pitch execution, batted-ball trajectory and defense metrics. The Hawk-Eye platform integrates with MLB infrastructure and Google Cloud to power MLB’s Statcast system with more accurate data and advanced metrics for stat-loving fans to enjoy.
MLB selected the Hawk-Eye platform following extensive evaluation of industry-leading tracking solutions. Hawk-Eye Innovations North America and MLB have entered into a multi-year partnership to provide tracking and analytics services across all MLB ballparks and several training facilities. MLB and Clubs rely on this data to power broadcast and digital fan experiences, as well as a range of baseball operations functions – including player development and umpire evaluation. The Hawk-Eye system tracks the field of play using 12 high resolution, high-frame rate video cameras installed at each ballpark. Video from these cameras is synchronized and analyzed to detect and track ball and player movement. In addition to previously available data sets, the new platform provides real-time player pose and motion analysis by measuring multiple points on the body thirty times per second.
"Hawk-Eye’s impressive 20-year history in sports tracking has resulted in industry-leading expertise and gave us a high degree of confidence in this partnership," said Jason Gaedtke, MLB Chief Technology Officer. "We are already seeing excellent results during the early part of our season. We set a high bar for performance of the new tracking system and Hawk-Eye has consistently met and exceeded those expectations. We look forward to working with Paul and his team to continue to innovate on this platform in the years ahead."
"Fans can enjoy baseball on a deeper level with increased stats on a specific player," said Dr. Paul Hawkins, Founder, Hawk-Eye Innovations. "Working together with MLB, we’re advancing our data capture service as the next core of our business. This new implementation heightens the experience for MLB’s players, officials and fans, as we strive for increased precision and engagement. We see this as a crucial step in this journey and are thrilled to be growing our partnership with Major League Baseball."
"Hawk-Eye has become an integral part of Sony, providing a substantial contribution to improving the integrity within sports," said Theresa Alesso, pro division President, Sony Electronics. "Together we are contributing to the increasing excitement of sports with our technology and entertainment properties. We’re pursuing cutting-edge tools that enhance sports innovation, promote deeper insights and produce a dynamic way of enjoying games from any location."
The company’s Synchronized Multi-Angle Replay Technology (SMART) video replay and distribution system has been used by MLB to support the challenge system used in its Replay Review since the 2014 season. Officiating solutions from Hawk-Eye Innovations are used in over 90 countries, for over 25 major sports, and in 30,000 games in a year.