WNBA debuts player tracking system with Kinexon, Hawk-Eye
WNBA players at the Connecticut Sun and Seattle Storm will wear sensors that have been cut to the shorts during tonight’s championship match in the Commissioner Cup at the Footprint Center in Phoenix. The arena also installed computer vision cameras to capture real-time 3D highlights of the broadcast Amazon Prime Video.
The league expects the new player tracking system to be powered by Kinexon wearables and Hawk-Eyes AI cameras to generate approximately 50 million data points per game.
The sensors will track data such as how fast players sprint, how often they jump and how fast they change direction, with data integrated into Amazon’s livestream. Next WNBA season, the league expects the player tracking system to offer new statistics, which will be developed in collaboration with Microsoft, the league’s official cloud and artificial intelligence partner.
“Innovation is at the heart of our initial Commissioner Cup — from the seasonal structure to the broadcasting of cup games and now to the piloting of an advanced player tracking system through partnerships with Kinexon and Hawk-Eye,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in a statement.
Kinexon has been used by NBA teams for years, has become the league’s most popular notebook for data collection. Many leagues such as the NBA, MLB and NFL have also used Kinexon’s wearables for contact tracking during the pandemic.
Hawk-Eyes ball tracking cameras, best known for making automatic phone calls in tennis, also provide fuel MLB’s player tracking system, Statcast. NFL will also start using Hawk-Eye during the replay this season.