Local startup wins Hong Kong ICT 2019 Award
eyes3’s is awarded Smart-Living Silver Award
Mobile APP plays roles of umpire and coach
eyes3’s AI algorithms analyse every move you made on court
Local start-up takes the world stage
Millions of tennis fans worldwide watch eyes3 in action
Hong Kong, April 13, 2019 – So many times when we watch top-level tennis matches we can see a player question and challenge a close line call. The umpire replays a close-up shot of the ball landing, with the audience cheering on, and justice is done. While we all enjoy these moments of suspense and excitement, rarely do we ask - how does it work?
To make this magic happen requires hefty investment on fixed installation of specialised equipment like sensors, cameras and control consoles for one specific court, usually at the centre court in the main stadiums. These complex systems are always unavailable for the side courts of the same tournament at the same venue, not to mention in smaller tournaments where professional players are still to make their own calls in absence of umpires or linesmen.
When it comes to local tournaments in which we ourselves, or our friends and family members are playing, we experience the same level of tension and frustration at questionable line calls, or maybe more. We all crave to be able to make a Challenge to crucial line calls just like a pro and see justice served.
A Technological Breakthrough
Good news is, a game-changing solution for the mass public is finally here, right on our smartphone! Developed by local start-up, Infinity Cube, eyes3 comes as an APP on smartphones.
eyes3 is an innovation in sports technology that provides real-time analytics on a tennis court with multiple functions. To use eyes3 as an electronic line call (ELC) system, no external cameras or electronics are required. You need only 2 smartphones set-up and mounted, one on each side of the court as video capturing device.
eyes3 uses computer vision and AI based algorithms to track the ball’s trajectory and gather data to a control console managed by the umpire. On demand, the umpire can review video clips gathered from the synchronised phone cameras and run instant replays direct on the control console.
Depending on the scale of the tournament more smartphones can be set-up around the court to boost the accuracy of the system. With up to 10 phones in place, eyes3’s margin of error is to within 10mm, which is almost indiscernible by human eyes - this compares favourably to the expensive equipment-packed high-end systems. When taking into consideration eyes3’s affordable cost, highly versatile set-up and ease-of-use, eyes3 is in a class of its own.
eyes3 ELC made its debut in Hong Kong in 2018 in various tennis events, and was well-received by the organisers, tennis pros, local players as well as spectators.
Beyond IN and OUT
eyes3 capabilities are not limited to judging IN/OUT calls in tennis matches.
Utilising a patented set of algorithms based on computer vision and machine learning, eyes3 tracks all movements on court including ball trajectory, ball speed, ball spin, ball bounce height, ball bounce heat maps and player heat maps. Using the scoring function, eyes3 can also provide match and game level statistics as well as player level statistics for a tournament.
The valuable analytics presented can help coaches and players to understanding relative weaknesses in techniques, tactics and match play. Targeted training can be designed accordingly, and progress of training tracked and analysed based on this advanced sport technology.
From Game Player to Game Changer
Infinity Cube is a local start-up formed by Victor Tan (CEO) and Ernest Chen (CTO). They are both passionate about sports and technology; combining these two passions seemed the perfect solution for them.
While they appreciated the adoption of electronic line calling system as a major advancement in tennis history, they were dissatisfied that it was exclusive to only a very limited number of matches at the top-tier tournaments.
“Every serious player wants fair and consistent judging, no matter how big or small the competition is. Accurate human judging on every single point is near impossible, and the situation is even worse when it is done by your opponent on the other side of the court,” said Victor Tan.
They believed the benefits of advanced sport technology should be enjoyed by the mass public, and started developing their own solution since nothing of the kind was available on the market.
Working towards this vision, Victor and Ernest, with their respective expertise in business consultancy and software engineering, joined forces to develop the technology, which came into full swing in 2016 when they committed full time to the project.
The innovative technology, eyes3, is a mobile solution in sport technology that targets the mass market. Tournament organisers, coaches, players and spectators in general can experience and interact with eyes3 in different perspectives, leading to enhanced experience and enjoyment at all levels of performance in the sport.
“eyes3 breaks the boundaries of requiring specialised hardware and permanent installation, and this is key to reaching out to the general public. Instead eyes3 leverages on smartphones and the ubiquitous cloud platform; components that we are familiar with bringing technology to our hands anywhere and anytime,” explained Ernest Chen.
Starting up to thrive
In just a short period of time since its debut, eyes3’s outstanding innovation in technology and contribution to lifestyle improvement have received wide recognition.
As a successful local start-up, Infinity Cube received funding support for its research and development (R&D) form the HKSAR government’s Innovation and Technology Fund (HKSAR ITF) via the Enterprise Support Scheme. eyes3 was also awarded the Silver Award in the Smart Living (Smart Lifestyle) category in the Hong Kong Information and Communications Awards (HKICT) 2019.
As eyes3 picks up momentum in awareness and acceptance, Infinity Cube is expanding its team by hiring more AI-related specialists to support and further develop the eyes3 system. They are also open for partnership with service providers who can deliver consultation and support services for eyes3 deployment for local and overseas tennis communities.