Published: 11th August 2021
Let AI analyse and up your game efficiently via this sports tech app
Hyderabad-based BomoTix is the result of two individuals’ labour — Deepak Upendra and Vinod Manjunathan Empranthiri. This is how they are bringing Artificial Intelligence to the sports arena
Coding, that's what it has always been about for Deepak Upendra. It was back in Class I when he created his first webpage! "At least, that's what my parents tell me," says the 24-year-old sheepishly. But we don't doubt it one bit after hearing about of the start-up he co-founded with Vinod Manjunathan Empranthiri.
Sports! Now that's a word that we've been saying a lot since India's impressive medal count at the recently concluded Olympics, right? It seems like it is only now that we are beginning to grasp the behind-the-scenes work that goes into that final performance. BomoTix, the start-up founded by the duo back in 2016, can greatly assist the athlete. Here’s how.
Deepak Upendra and Vinod Manjunathan Empranthiri | (Pic: BomoTix)
It's very natural for athletes to practise with their phone cameras on and at the end, review their performance. But what if AI (Artificial Intelligence) can do that for you in a much more efficient manner? When Deepak met Vinod in the US, while he was volunteering with Mozilla, this is the idea that they bonded over instantly. "Basically, we are training a computer to automate video analysis," says the 24-year-old.
So stream the video of your practise directly from their app or upload the video via their portal and let their AI do the rest of the heavy-lifting. There are three major parameters that the technology focuses on — position, ball contact and follow up. How was your stance? Did you approach the ball in the best way possible? What happened after? Using their proprietary technology, which is currently in the beta stage where they are offering subscription by invitation only, they offer detailed analysis on the above with regards to four sports — volleyball, basketball, badminton and tennis.
"Computer vision, which is part of AI, is at play here," says Deepak. All you need is any functional phone camera and you are good to go. It is Vinod, who is based in the US, who sourced videos from his own network, 100s of videos per sport which were anywhere between one minute to one hour long. This is the knowledge base upon which the AI builds its analysis and presents it in the form of a report card. Plus, they have the assistance of five coaches who help them refine the reports. The plan was to pitch this technology as AI that would help the coach. "At the end of the day, the AI will tell you where you are going wrong, but it can't tell you how to beat, say, PV Sindhu. That's the coach's ambit," explains the youngster who was born in Chennai and is based out of Hyderabad.
It goes without saying that COVID has been a great impediment to their progress, as the duo was expecting to tap into a few educational institutions by this time. As a bootstrapped start-up, it was also difficult for them to retain the six team members who were on board with them. But what COVID has also done is made Deepak feel grateful for being an entrepreneur. "I do not need to join a big company and do the same task over and over again. As an innovator and, more importantly, a coder, I can do so much more," says the youngster who pursued his Bachelor's in Computer Applications from Nizam College. So if all goes well, the duo hopes to launch BomoTix by November and take the sporting field by storm.
For more on them check out bomotix.com