Working of Hotspot technology in Cricket and why it's usage is limited

The hotspot technology was developed by a French scientist named Nicholas Bion for military purposes. Later this technology was then adapted and implemented in cricket by Warren Brenan owner of BBG sports Australia to know the exact point of contact of the ball to decide whether the batter is out or not. It was first used in the Ashes series of 2006-07.

Though the snickometer helps to make decisions in certain circumstances where the ball hits both bat and pad together it becomes tough for umpires to decide with the help of the snickometer. When the hotspot combines with the snickometer it will give clarity to the umpires in decision making.

Working of Hotspot Technology:

The hotspot technology uses two or more infrared cameras placed on either side of the straight boundaries on top of sight screens and other cameras on either side of the pitch at certain heights above the pitch level, which constantly record the game.
Image from iOS (4)

It works on the principle of thermal wave image processing. When two moving objects collide with each other creates friction. This friction produces heat energy. The infrared cameras are used to record the game constantly. These cameras connected to the computer process the captured images converting them to black and white negative frames. With the help of processed images, we can get to know the exact point of contact whether the ball hit the bat or pad or any other part of the batter’s body which helps the umpire in deciding whether the batter is out or not with much clarity.

Disadvantages of Hotspot :

Like any other technology, this one also has its advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage is the cost of implementation. For a day of cricket match the two camera setup costs around 6000 Australian dollars and a four-camera setup, it costs around 10,000 Australian dollars. For a full test series, the approximate cost comes to around 2,50,000 Australian dollars.

Although it has advantages over the snickometer the usage of a hotspot is limited because it couldn’t identify the ball hitting the bat on numerous occasions. Research successfully discovered that the usage of tape on top of the bat as a protective coating may result in reducing the hotspot marks on the bat. Due to these reasons, the usage of the hotspot is limited.