Matchday AI aims to revolutionize badminton with advanced technology, says co-founder Pullela Gopichand

More than 20 percent of the world’s population plays sports every day, including badminton. Sport is a big part of our life. However, sport has been practiced the same way for generations, completely untouched by technology.

Matchday AI, a company founded in 2019 by two Hyderabad techies, Harsha Vardhan and Ganesh Yaparla, promises to change that.

Matchday AI is closely associated with IIIT-Hyderabad, where they have developed a state-of-the-art AI algorithm that can transform the way sports are experienced. They have worked closely with Pullela Gopichand since their inception. The head badminton national coach was enthusiastic about the team’s vision and therefore joined the startup as a co-founder.

Pullela Gopichand is quite impressed with the new technology and is confident that it will play a big part in developing the overall standard of the game.

“This technology can be really useful for players of all skill levels to get better and can really have a huge impact on the sport. We recognize that the younger generation is different in the way they connect and communicate and how they set out to achieve their goals. In addition, parents today are also more concerned about their children’s participation in sports and want to closely monitor their child’s progress,” Gopichand said.

The 2001 All England Champion was so impressed with the new technology that he installed it at his Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad. He believes it will help players and coaches monitor their progress.

“Matchday AI recognized these trends and created a product that allows badminton players to use real, hard data to track how their game is improving. Coaches can also use this data to better understand a person’s game and cater to their specific needs. Parents will also find it to be a useful tool to follow their children’s play and also see their children’s games without having to be present on the pitch,” said Gopichand.

Detailed analysis by Matchday AI
Detailed analysis by Matchday AI

Co-founder Harsha Vardhan said they’ve had an overwhelming response from players and coaches alike. Several badminton academies in India use this technology.

“We get good feedback from everyone. We have installed the system in several academies in India. We also receive inquiries from other countries, especially European nations. They want to use the new technology to strengthen their badminton structure,” said Harsha Vardhan.

Harsha Vardhan explained how it works, saying it is very simple and just one camera on the top of the badminton court does everything.

Badminton Players Installation and Subscription is Affordable for Everyone: Harsha Vardhan

Cameras must be placed at a sufficient height on the pitch for good results. After installing on several academies, we take monthly subscription from players for their benefit.

“We charge a cover fee from the players. He or she must pay a monthly subscription fee. It’s pretty affordable. We have also used this technology very effectively in tournaments. In the future, we plan to use this technology in all Badminton Association of India (BAI) tournaments after receiving its approvals,” said Harsha Vardhan.

It offers an overview, match analysis and video analysis. It will tell you everything about the game like average rallies length, game intensity, longest rallies, total shots.

There is also feedback on winning streaks, biggest comebacks and biggest leads. In the player statistics you will be informed about the winners and mistakes. The minute details of a player’s in-game performance such as straight shots, cross shots, attack shots, save shots, short serve and long serve can be captured.

Gopichand said that more and more players are interested in using this product to analyze their game and subsequently improve their performance.

“Gone are the days when match statistics, analysis and videos were only available for professional players. With AI, amateur athletes can now train and grow with the same tools used by the best in the business at a very affordable price. Over 200 players have used this product and we’re getting great feedback from players, coaches and parents alike. Professional players from all over the world are also very interested in our product,” said Gopichand.

Players can also compare and compete with the rest of the badminton community. So a player playing in Hyderabad can compare himself to players playing in Delhi or even Denmark. Through this product, we can truly enable sports technology and better adapt it to the needs of the mobile generation.

“Personally, I believe this is the next big step for the development of the sport and I’m really excited to be a part of it. Hyderabad has already produced many top players, now we are about to also produce a great new innovation that can really disrupt badminton and also the sport worldwide,” Gopichand added.

The competition in badminton is getting tougher every day and the use of technology is definitely an option for the overall development of the players.

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