Sony acquires Hawk-Eye

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Updated: March 7, 2011

Those of us who have witnessed – or suffered from – ‘wrong calls’ in major sporting events will welcome today’s news that the highly innovative but small English company, Hawk Eye, has been taken over by Sony. This will ensure that the technology moves forward at a faster pace .

In the near future the G.A.A will test out the Hawk-Eye system . The GAA report into available new technologies is due in May.

Sony has announced today the acquisition of Hawk-Eye Ltd, the UK based company that specialises in providing tracking technology to sports events and broadcasters. Hawk-Eye’s capabilities, based on vision processing and triangulation, coupled with Sony’s established leadership in AV production and B2B solutions will enable the delivery of leading managed services and innovative solutions for sports stadia and broadcasters.

Naomi Climer, Vice-President Sony Europe, commented, “Hawk-Eye is recognised globally for its innovative solutions for resolving close calls in critical sporting situations, particularly in cricket and tennis where they have developed a worldwide reputation. Players, officials and sports fans have all appreciated the accurate and entertaining way in which Hawk-Eye has integrated its technology into these key sports. Hawk-Eye presents Sony with the opportunity to acquire a small, innovative company with unique knowledge and excellent growth and synergies potential.

It is an ideal complementary offering to Sony Professional’s existing portfolio of solutions for stadiums, venues and broadcasters, as well as bringing in specific expertise around managed services and sports software solutions engineering. We see strong opportunities on the technological, business and marketing levels to further Sony’s leadership and engagement in the sports and broadcasting industry.”

Paul Hawkins, Founder of Hawk-Eye in 1999, said, “Over the last decade Hawk-Eye has become the reference standard technology for ball tracking and graphics in tennis, cricket and snooker. Our skills and established knowledge coupled with Sony’s breadth of capabilities and technologies will create immense opportunities for the sports industry.”

The GAA plans to trial Hawk-Eye technology before the end of this year’s Allianz League campaigns.

The technology is already used in both tennis and cricket and would be used to decide disputed scores during Gaelic Games matches.

A possible date for the test is the April 2nd hurling-football double-header when Dublin take on both Kilkenny and Down.

GAA president Christy Cooney said: “We would hope to trial it in a game in Croke Park in the near future. We are looking at the Dublin games at the moment.

“We are testing it to see how it works. We will have a meeting in May to analyse that and discuss the whole costing and feasibility of having it at all of our grounds.

“It won’t be in use in this year but it is something for the future and something we will look very seriously at. It has to be right and to be effective and we have to be able to do it at all of our county games.”.

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