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How robo-advice is revolutionising wealth management

How robo-advice is revolutionising wealth management

The UK Robo-Advice and Digital Wealth Summit returns to London for a second year on Thursday 20th September. Here, we take a look at the fintech pioneers leading the way in this fascinating sector.

Robo-advice and digital wealth management are one of the fastest-growing and most talked-about areas of the financial services’ digital transformation. The concept was originally conceived as a way of extending financial advice to the mass market, but today the technology has, and will only continue to be, extended to insurance, pensions and many other areas of finance, benefiting both consumers and businesses.

As we welcome the second year of the UK Robo-Advice and Digital Wealth Summit, we take a look at some of the keynote speakers and how their respective businesses are pioneering the digitalisation of wealth management and making it easier for consumers and businesses alike to make the most of their money without the hassle.

PensionBee

Speaker: Romi Savova, Chief Executive

PensionBee is “the first and only technology operating in the UK that can identify, transfer and combine pensions for users”.

Essentially, it’s an online pension manager helping those who often move jobs to amalgamate and track their pensions in a single online platform. To use it, users need simply list their employment history and the platform combines their pensions into a single plan.

According to PensionBee, the average person has 11-12 jobs in their lifetime and people are understandably losing track of existing pension pots largely due to a lack of support from government in the transfer process (a total of over £500m in forgotten pensions, to be precise).

Smart Pension

Speaker: Darren Philp, Head of Policy

Smart Pension enables savers to track how much they have invested into their retirement pots and plan for their retirements accordingly. By empowering users with a greater awareness of their assets, across multiple pension pots, the company is bringing much-needed transparency to a previously outdated process.

Earlier this month the company announced former Virgin Group chief executive Stephen Murphy to as the new chairman of its board.

Smart Pension launched an app for iOS and Android earlier this year, allowing users to track their pension balance in real-time, and even increase their contribution levels to certain funds when they can afford to do so. It’s also empowering its users even further through the launch of its Amazon Alexa Skill, allowing savers to stay up-to-date with their savings using simple voice commands.

AtomInvest

Speaker: Hemal Mehta, Founder and Chief Executive

AtomInvest’s mission is to democratise access to alternative investment funds across private equity, venture capital and hedge funds – to ultimately make alternative investments easily accessible to the wider market.

“Alternative investments are great manufacturers of returns in up markets and down markets…however the privilege of investing into these funds was reserved for big institutions such as pension funds, endowments and insurance companies”, founder and CEO Hemal Mehta tells HedgeWeek.

Hemal has subsequently launched a digital platform for high net worth investors and smaller institutions to back alternative investments. It must be noted that minimum investments start from $100,000.

AtomInvest claims to be the lowest cost provider in the market due to charging investors a flat fee for the service and infrastructure of 1% of the money they are putting in.

WealthSimple

Speaker: Tomasz Krzywicki, General Counsel (Europe & US)

When it comes to automated investment, WealthSimple is one of the biggest names in the game. CEO of WealthSimple Michael Katchen says it’s designed to “simplify investing so you can get on with your life”.

Its technology helps investors earn the best possible returns on their money through automatic rebalancing, dividend reinvesting and other methods.

What is particularly attractive about WealthSimple is its management fees, fixed at just 0.5% on accounts up to $100,000, and only 0.4% on accounts over $100,000. Traditional mutual funds have been known to charge as much as double this, leaving us to question why anyone wouldn’t be interested in setting an investment amount and leaving it to look after itself.

Wealth Wizards

Speaker: Andrew Firth, Chief Executive

Wealth Wizards is a robo-adviser majority owned by LV. In March this year it launched an AI service, Truro, which will learn and replicate the advice advisers give their clients after examining the business’ previous work.

Speaking to Financial Reporter, CEO Andrew Frith has reiterated that “robo-advice isn’t here to put financial advisers out of a job…instead it’s a tool which is complementary to financial advisers’ services”, and this is exactly what their new AI tool is doing.

Andrew has built Wealth Wizards on the premise that robo-advice is, generally, more robust and consistent than human judgement alone, while at the same time helping to bridge the gap when it comes to financial advice for the amateur or intermediate investor.

Moneyfarm

Founder: Giovanni Dapra, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Moneyfarm promises to create an investment portfolio, adjust it automatically and provide advice to users of the platform for a fraction of the cost of traditional investment platforms.

It only launched in the UK a couple of years ago, but has already made a name for itself as one of the go-to options for first-time investors looking for support as they enter the stocks & shares market with little or no experience, without needing to worry about the fees of traditional investment platforms.

The platform has announced it has over £400 million in assets under management. In May it raised £40m to fund product development, and earlier this year reported a revenue of £1million for the first time.

Home connected series – Smart bedroom gadgets

bedroom gadgets

A few years ago, the idea of a smart home was unheard of, but in the last two years, we have witnessed the ownership of smart devices double. If you’re sat there thinking there’s nothing wrong with my house as it is, why do I need it to be smarter, the answer is two-fold. Firstly, it’s convenient. Nearly every device made nowadays has an ability to connect to the internet, from your watch to your coffee machine or your fridge to your phone, so imagine if you could control it all from one device or even through a voice-controlled assistant?

Secondly, a smart home can learn with you, and slowly become automated, removing the need for mundane tasks and making your life easier. Simple changes, such as the kettle switching on as you pull up to your house, or your fridge automatically ordering milk when you’re low will free up your time.

We’re kicking off our connected series with the smart bedroom, picking out our favourite gadgets that will take your bedroom from the stone age to the new age:

Barisieur

If like me, you’re not a morning person, the Barisieur is set to become your new best friend. The alarm clock eases you into your day by having a cup of tea or coffee ready and waiting for you when you wake up. The sleek design brings back memories of record plays and happiness as it sets you up for the day.

Eve

Rather than be limited to restrictive architecture or thin walls, you can make your bedroom the centre of hygge by using Eve, the nomadic heating and luminous sphere. Designed to restore balance to any room, the portable light and heater can be used throughout the year and will be available this month.

Mui

Unlike many smart gadgets that come covered in bells and whistles, mui is a much subtler device. The block, while coming across as a simple piece of wood, allows you to control your homes’ temperature, read your text messages and check the weather without it become the focal point of the room.

Sense-U Movement Monitor

This portable and easy to use clip can be attached to any baby’s swaddle or onesie and provide instant reassurance to new parents. The sensor, which can be linked to your phone, will notify you when your baby is sleeping on his or her stomach as well as when they are overheating, giving you peace of mind in the evenings.

 

Do you have a gadget which you would like to launch in the UK market? Why not speak to one of our award-winning team today about what PR could do for you and your business.

Sleep easy with these top apps

Since the dawn of time some people have been able to drift off in a matter of minutes and get to sleep without a hitch, whereas some of us ‘night owls’ find ourselves wide awake at 2am.  We’ve looked at some of the hottest apps around that have made relaxing and drifting off an easier task .

Sleep Cycle

Using cutting-edge software which measures your sleep patterns, Sleep Cycle analyses your sleep and wakes you in your lightest sleeping phase, meaning that you wake up feeling far more refreshed. Their community blog invites top sleep experts to provide their tips and tricks creating a community for sleep-deprived. Whether it’s an insight on ‘How women sleep’ or ‘The evolution of the mattress’ the Sleep Cycle team have made sure to use relevant statistics and taken the time to produce a trustworthy insight. Since its release, the app has been popular all around the globe with one reviewer going as far to state ‘The result is so gentle and lovely it feels like being woken up by a mermaid stroking your hair or a unicorn nuzzling your toes’ we’re guessing it’s a success!

Pillow

Pillow delivers a comprehensive report on everything to do with how you sleep. It doesn’t only track your sleep and wakes you in your lightest stage of sleep, but it also offers the ability to work on 15-minute power naps and 45-minute recovery naps. With a 4.5 star rating and 6,000 reviews on iTunes. The Pillow app’s word of mouth marketing strategy has worked really well. The app has even featured as ‘App of the Week’

Pzizz

The world’s most advanced sleep and power nap system helps you to quickly quieten your mind, fall asleep fast and wake up feeling refreshed. As part of their strategy, Pzizz have spent time developing their website and have created a feature which continually updates with users’ testimonials. Alongside this, they also have the backing of some of the biggest celebrities around who use the app including J.K. Rowling. Pzizz has also been selected to be one of 70 apps to feature on the NHS apps library to celebrate the NHS turning 70 this year.

Headspace

The popular meditation app which creates sessions for you depending on what your goals might be. Headspace produce and promote a variety of content to their large social media following helping to drive users to their website. The content includes GIFS, interesting insights and replica blogs which are based off the audio sessions on the app.

Do you have an app which you would like to launch in the UK market? Why not speak to one of our award-winning team today about what PR could do for you and your business.

What are stable-coins?

Are they actually stable and why should we care?

Regardless of interest, or lack of, in cryptocurrencies, the one thing pretty much everyone knows is that they’re volatile. Prone to monumental crashes and swift, significant upswings, Bitcoin has been known to go up or down by 20 per cent in a single day.

Given this wild unpredictability, widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies is looking unlikely to happen any time soon. Imagine paying £5 for your hot chocolate on your morning commute only to find out if you’d bought it in the afternoon it would have been £4. Consumers and businesses simply wouldn’t have it.

However, there may be a solution. Stable-coins, as the name would suggest, are more stable versions of cryptocurrencies. Pegged to another stable asset, such as gold or a fiat currency like sterling, they make the most of the decentralised benefits of cryptocurrencies and have lower volatility. If they become adopted by the mainstream, we could pay for things using digital currencies on a practical day to day basis. Digital currencies that are easily trackable on a public ledger, meaning the risk of fraud and identity theft is significantly reduced.

That’s the theory at least. There are however many conflicting views as to whether stable-coins will actually calm volatility in the space or whether this can only be done with a significant increase in liquidity over a long period of time. There also hasn’t, as of yet, been a clear universal “winner”; a stable-coin that has distinguished itself above the rest, though there are a number of projects trying to do exactly that.
The waters start to become murky though as there are three different types of stable-coin emerging, dependent on what asset the digital currency is tethered to.

Fiat-collateralised stable-coins are, naturally, backed by fiat currencies, the most famous at the moment being Tether. Its makers claim that for every digital coin, they have the equivalent US dollar held in reserve. Debatable but that’s a different discussion. This type of stable-coin is centralised to a large degree, and as such many traditionalists in the space are reluctant to back them due to the lack of decentralisation – a core part of the original crypto ethos. On the other hand, there are those who believe this “middle-path” is the only way banks will adopt digital currencies moving forward.

Crypto-collateralised stable-coins are backed by a pool of crypto. Users of this type stake an amount of crypto and then borrow stable-coins against that collateral at a fixed rate. One of the most popular coins of this kind is called DAI, controlled by the decentralised organisation Maker. The main challenge to crypto-collateralised stable-coins is that they can still be vulnerable to significant price spikes and drops in the market. However, they do hold true to the decentralised architecture that is so central to digital currency’s core, making them highly resilient and difficult to commit fraud with.

The third and final type is algorithmically controlled stable-coins. This is a relatively new model, that uses complex algorithms to adjust supply based on demand to maintain a consistent price point. The key difference between this stable-coin and the other two is it’s not trying to be a new version of the fiat reserve system; no collateral is put up at all. The big issue, however, is that the entire system is based on trust; though, with the likes of Basis, trust is placed in software controlled by algorithms on the network, not humans. And only time will tell whether placing trust in an algorithmic system is a good idea.

Ultimately, the idea behind stable-coins, whether fiat, crypto or algorithmic, is sound. Volatility in the market is a huge barrier to mass adoption and until this is overcome, we won’t be buying our morning coffee with cryptocurrency. If we want the benefits digital currency could bring – trackable money, reduced identity fraud and theft – then we need to work on creating a truly stable cryptocurrency that mitigates all the current risks associated with cryptos.

Are you looking for a specialist blockchain PR team to help your brand or business gain real media cut-through? Speak to our team today to find out how we can support you.

The realities: Those who augmented it, and those who virtually suck at it

Companies who nailed, and failed, AR and VR

For the few months Pokemon Go! had everyone glued to their phones trying to ‘catch em all’, AR permeated every single conversation. Snapchat, another example of AR being used in the everyday consciousness, has now led people to avoid sending selfies without a pair of bunny ears on their head. VR on other hand, has also shone a light on the companies that are ready and maybe not so much this year.

However, for the small number of companies who nailed AR & VR, bringing a new experience to their customers and completely overhauling the way we consume products for the better, there are some companies who royally failed, alienating potential customers and just looking plain stupid.

NAILED

IKEA

For some, the Saturday afternoon trip to IKEA fills them with absolute, undeniable dread. Aimlessly following the yellow brick road filling the trolley with an eclectic mix of household items constantly reassuring yourself that it is the right dimensions and it is the right colour palette.

However, IKEA have solved every shopper’s wish with the assistance of AR. Their app, IKEA Place, allows shoppers to virtually place furniture inside their home. IKEA Place scales the product in real world settings and boasts a 98% accuracy to avoid any flat packing blunders. Retailers are following suit, with predictions that AR will represent at least 25% of online retailing by 2035 globally.

Limbix

Built on two decades of research, Limbix uses VR to help patients with mental illness and for people to overcome anxieties, the fear of flying, public speaking or driving, the list goes on.

Exposure therapy is a common and effective treatment for phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder and by using VR, therapists can transport patients back to an uncomfortable reality in a safe, secure environment, providing emotional guidance every step of the way. Therapists have praised Limbix for how they’ve helped their patients face their anxieties in a controlled way.

FAILED

Facebook

Facebook is no stranger when it comes to missing the mark, and one of their most recent ventures, Facebook Spaces, is another one to add to the black book. In September 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by the worst hurricane on record that tore through family homes and ripped livelihoods apart.

Facebook then decided that it was a smart idea to use this as a backdrop for their launch of their new platform aimed at bringing people together through Virtual Reality. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s Social VR Chief, Rachel Franklin, put on their finest Oculus Rift goggles and discussed how amazing it was to ‘feel right there’ amongst the devastation.

Zuckerberg had used this opportunity to share how Facebook was supporting the Red Cross in response to one of the worst hurricanes in history, yet this was utterly irrelevant to people across the world who saw it as an exploitation of a country’s devastation for the benefit of the corporation’s revenues.

Google Glass

Google Glass was set to disrupt the eye industry, with grand hopes of redefining what it means to be ‘geek chic.’ Instead, the smart glasses fell completely flat, leaving consumers questioning why anyone would “want that thing on their face.”

Glass was released with intention of developing the glasses in line with customer feedback with a long-term mission of creating an ubiquitous computer. However, with a meagre two-hour battery life, Glass offered no clear benefit or function that ensured the product stood apart from the standard mobile phone, apart from the fact that you might walk into a lamppost whilst checking when your next train departs.

It’s clear that Google Glass wasn’t ready for the mass consumer market and this is reflective of the smart glass market. This month, however, it was announced that Glass is working with Stanford School of Medicine on a project called Superpower glass, using the smart glasses to help children with autism read facial expressions. Maybe we will witness a Google Glass comeback with true focus and purpose.

Nailing the user experience can be difficult when adopting any new technologies and many are guilty of relying on the technology to drive such experience. Instead, the focus must be on how the technology can add a new function and benefit to enhance user experience to build a stronger relationship with consumers.

Once that’s been nailed, augmented and virtual reality can catapult your brand awareness to a new reality, whether it’s using VR to launch a new product like Jaguar, or using AR to help redefine the shopping experience as IKEA have done.

If you’d like to incorporate AR or VR into your communications strategy speak to a member of our team today.

Back to school gadgets and their marketing strategies

In the past back-to-school shopping would normally entail hunting for school uniform, a fashionable pencil case and some trusted biros. Times have moved, and technology has changed the way we work. We’ve looked at some of the hottest gadgets that your kids will be asking for and the alternative strategies they decide to use to market their product to the world.

Beurer 4-in-1 Wake Up Light

 Before the launch of the Beurer’s wake up light, the brand commissioned a survey that investigated what month British people found the most miserable. The results concluded that November with its dark evenings and plummeting temperatures made it the hardest month to get out of bed in the morning.

Beurer wanted to market their wake-up light, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It allows you to wake up naturally from a light that increases steadily, leaving you in a better mood ready to start your day. With the prior research conducted, when the product hit the market in early October. So when those little dears just won’t wake from their slumber, why not try the Beurer light.

LittleBits Code Kit

When LittleBits, a start-up that gives children the opportunity to learn basic coding, secured the licensing deal for the much-anticipated Star Wars film ‘The Last Jedi’, it provided an interesting concept for the start-up on how they would market their latest coding kit. The brand opted against using traditional TV adverts as part of their marketing campaign and decided to spend their budget on their social channels.

This Included using YouTube adverts, social media posts and promotional videos which used children mirrored off characters from the film showing them playing with the coding kit. When it came to maximising exposure from other social platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, LittleBits targeted their parents, showcasing the e-learning benefits to their children and to resonate with their childhood nostalgia for Star Wars. 

Gululu Interactive Water Bottle

Gululu has built a community of over 40,000 users from 70+ countries by demonstrating an excellent content strategy of blogs and insights which provide parents with helpful tips on topics ranging from ‘How to spend more quality time with family in the digitalized age’ to ‘Listening is one of our most valued attributes of being a dad’. There utilisation of parent bloggers across social platforms, in particular, Twitter and Facebook, help drive brand awareness, engagement and increase sales traffic.

The product itself is an interactive drinks bottle that only allows you to progress in the game when you drink liquid from it. Described as an innovative way for parents to encourage their young ones to stay hydrated. The website also incorporates a smart idea which shows how a child would use the Gululu interactive bottle throughout the day.

 If you want to find unique and impactful was to promote your brand, then please contact The PHA Group today.

Our favourite gadgets to buy this Christmas

Given the heat wave we’ve been experiencing this summer, Christmas can feel like a long way off, but for the press, summer is the time for finalising those coveted Christmas gift guides. Journalists in monthly publications will be wrapping presents and donning jumpers while they coordinate the final photoshoots and lists.

Now is the ideal time for speaking to the press about new products you might have planned for the festive season. To join in the fun, we’ve picked our favourite tech gadgets to hope for under the tree this year

PoochPlay – Ideal for all dog lovers

A dog activity tracker with a difference. PoochPlay allows you to track your favourite doggo’s activity and rest period and helps you create a tailored nutrition plan to ensure that their lives are great. The lightweight tracker only costs £39.99 and clips straight on to your dog’s collar.

The Hi-Mirror Mini – The go-to glam gift

More than just a mirror, the HiMirror Mini helps you assess your skin’s condition, including wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, red spots and pores, so you can effectively and efficiently target problem areas and move toward your beauty goals. The device has a historical tracking system that lets you view your skin’s progress every day and decide if your skin care is working for you.

The mirror is also equipped with multiple lightening settings and is Amazon Alexa enabled, so you can ask it to check the weather, play music or order an Uber, all while doing your makeup.

The Mini costs £239 and is available on Amazon to buy now.

VectorThe AI assistant for the whole family

Evolving from the current static AI assistant, Anki have created Vector, a cute mobile assistant that can move around your home (or at least your tables!) Described as your robot sidekick, Vector can see, hear and communicate thanks to the array of technology packed into his small body. The HD camera allows him to navigate surroundings and remember faces, and he can speak directly to you thanks to his custom text-to-speech voice.

Available for pre-order now, Vector will be available from the 9th October for £249.99

Motiv Ring – The subtle fitness tracker

In the golden age of wearable technology, the Motiv Ring is one of the smallest fitness trackers out there. A sleek ring in either grey or rose gold, the Motiv Ring tracks activity, sleep and heart rate. The best part is that they send a sizing kit when you order to make sure that the ring is the perfect fit. The ring is available to order for $199 with a 45-day money back guarantee.

Electro Machines Kit – Best for the little inventors

Tech Will Save Us has a host of fun kits for kids which are both educational and fun, but our personal favourite is the Electro Machines Kit. Designed to teach children ages 4+ about electricity, the kit allows them to build fun dough structures, from cars to robots, while creating simple circuits to add lights to their creations.

The kit is currently on offer for £29.99 as part of their summer savings but normally costs £39.99.

If you would like to find out more about how to get your product placed in the press for Christmas, you can get in touch with us here.

Alternative investments you won’t want to miss

Alternative investments have always fascinated investors, with growing popularity in recent years as both individuals, holding companies and institutions look for ways to change their volatility exposure and potentially generate surplus returns beyond holding stocks and bonds.

From cryptocurrencies to mineral rights, fintech gadgets to the latest natural remedy, house sellers to tower block renters, alternative investments can be very compelling for the right individual.

We look at the top ten investment opportunities from Crowd Cube you won’t want to miss.

Glint

After launching in February 2018 Glint are securing their place in the market by introducing gold as money into the global payments system. The Glint app and Mastercard allows consumers to buy, store and sell gold alongside other national currencies. With over £1.5 million raised Glint is certainly one we are excited to watch.

Supponor

Winner of Sports Tech of the year and Most Innovative Use of Tech in 2017, Supponor is the Augmented Realist Technology company designed to increase the value of sponsorship and top-tier broadcast rights. The business uses in-stadium TV-visible signage which will enable advertisers and sponsors to target fans based upon their location and characteristics providing a much more personalised experience for the viewers at home.

Pack’D

The natural nutrition brand on a mission to fuel potential. Voted as one of the ‘Top 50 start-ups’ Pack’D now have over 1500 product listings featured in stores including Sainsbury’s and Ocado. Designed by nutritionists to give you a targeted health kick, Pack’s frozen smoothie kits are as simple as adding your choice of liquid and blend.

BABB Group

BABB is building a decentralised banking platform that aims to provide peer-to-peer banking services designed for the global microeconomy. With over $18 million backing for software development, it is now raising funds to meet the capital requirement to become a licensed bank in the UK and/or EU. BABB Group has a community of 50,000 people in over 170 countries as well as a blockchain banking app set to launch at the end of 2018. We’re excited to see how BABB carves their way into the future of banking in the UK.

Zzish

The classroom assistant that saves you hours of time. The EdTech platform is back to CrowdCube after their success in the US and Asia. With fun interactive assessment tools available for all levels Zzish is leading the way in classroom engagement.

Fans Agency

Brainchild of a ‘super-agent’. The Fans Agency is the modern football agency: part-owned by fans, a focus on players, supporting grassroots and offering a proportion of its fees for purchase and trade. The investment will aim to source players, create a trading platform and market the idea.

Coinaphoto

Over 55 million stock photos available on their site, coinaphoto’s aim is to shake up the digital content world by monetising our digital assets. With existing founder investments exceeding $3million dollars, we’re excited to see coinaphoto change the local photography community.

Monty’s Deli

Having started out as a small market stall perfecting the ultimate pastrami and salt beef sandwich, Monty’s Deli is aiming to expand their offering right across the capital with several new market sites. The FT, Sunday Times and Evening Standard have all rated the food extraordinaire as one to watch.

VITL

Backed by the founders of Zoopla, Love Film and Bulldog skincare, VITL is the personalized nutritionist service we’ve all been waiting for. Using artificial intelligence VITL can calculate what nutrients are missing from your diet and provide the bespoke pack right for you.

Rise Art

The online gallery racking up over £1 million in sales last year. The world of online art trading is growing, and Rise Art is set to help lead the way. Scouring the glove looking for the best pieces and artists the business is looking to bridge the gap between art and luxury investors.

Are you looking to raise vital funds for your business? Or are you a start-up that needs to launch your brand to the market. Our team of specialists is here to help. Contact us today to find out how we can help you gain breakthrough for you and your business.

Can’t have TMS on at work? Here are five cricket apps to keep you up to date

The British heatwave may have ended abruptly, but the cricket season is now in full swing. If the dulcet tones of Aggers, Tuffers and Vaughan are too much for your colleagues who don’t share your love of leather on willow and anecdotes about Victoria sponge, thankfully there’s a host of mobile apps to give you the ball-by-ball updates you crave. Here are five of the best.

ESPN Cricinfo

Tried and tested. Seems to be the app every cricket nut goes to for a more statistical experience than you’d get on BBC Sport. This is a personalised cricket experience featuring live scores and ball-by-ball commentary. Perfect if you don’t want to miss an England top order collapse or track every ball of Kholi’s inevitable double century.

Connecting with Facebook makes it easy to set up, and you can choose your team to receive tailored information and updates each day. It’s not TMS, but it’s the next best thing.

Cricbuzz

Whether you’re a seasoned follower of the game (that Ashes series in 2005) or the T20 game has pulled you in more recently, this app has everything you need.

Some cricket purists who have always used ESPN Cricinfo and looked no further have been disappointed by the app’s recent updates and have subsequently switched to Cricbuzz.

It is intelligently designed, and the user experience is very simple and efficient.

Cricinfo will be looking over its shoulder as this app grows in popularity.

Cricket Mazza

Claiming to provide “the fastest live cricket scores”, this app prides itself on three main features: ball by ball live scores, clear match scheduling and fixtures, and lightning fast speed.

Developed by an Indian developer, the app has brilliant coverage of the Indian Premier League for those who like the glitz and glamour of the world’s most lucrative tournament.

It’s a relatively new app, so it will only get better with updates.

ICC Cricket and ECB Cricket

You would expect the governing bodies of both global cricket and the domestic game to do a pretty decent job of an app – thankfully they have, and you can’t go wrong with one of these.

The ICC Cricket app is designed for international cricket and is perhaps best used when the World Cup comes around every four years. It also features HD video (interviews, highlights) which you don’t always find in the above apps.

The ECB Cricket app – as expected – covers international and county games and recently announced its compatibility on the Apple Watch. Highlights – including those from county cricket – are readily available in good quality.

These two apps focus less on style and user experience and instead act as a reliable one-stop-shop for domestic and international cricket fans alike.

If you would like to find out how your start-up or app could benefit from a PR boost then please get in touch today.

Hawk-Eye: The technology that has revolutionised the game

Hawk-Eye is probably one of the most important innovations in professional sport. It has revolutionised over 20 professional sports and every year covers 7,200 games and events across 450 stadiums in over 65 countries.

Hawk-Eye the system that analyses situations quickly with a high degree of accuracy using a camera array and high-speed monitoring software. The technology is making cricket fairer and less prone to adjudicating howlers as decisions can be reviewed and overturned if needs be. It has also become a fan favourite, both in the ground and at home, for the great visual technology and added trepidation.

Since only being used in a simple format for cricket broadcasting, Hawk-Eye has been developed to become one of the most sophisticated vision processing technologies in sport. The system uses vision processing technology which is then combined with an intelligent IT-based video replay and distribution software. This is then put through the creative graphics platform making the visually thrilling format we know and love.

The technology works by installing a number of cameras around the field tracking the ball. Hawk-Eye uses these cameras to tell you what is going to happen rather than what has already happened. The system triangulates information of where the ball is from each calibrated camera. This process is repeated frame by frame to produce a single trajectory. The computer does all the work and no human interaction is required. The measurements are accurate to within 3.9mm and the video is produced in under 10 seconds making it incredibly fast and accurate.

Cricket broadcasting is the most widespread use of Hawk-Eye and it is primarily used to analyse leg before wicket (LBW) decisions. It does this by tracking the ball and then projecting the likely path of the ball to see if it would have hit the stumps had the batsman’s leg not got in the way. In all three cases, marginal calls result in the on-field call being maintained.

It is also able to be used as a broadcasting and coaching aid as the systems can show the delivery patterns of a bowler such as their line, length, swing and turn. It is also a benefit to the batsmen as a record can be produced of where a batsman scores most of his/her runs. This is a valuable insight for County and International players in creating strategies for matches

There have been some high-profile mistakes by the software. Most notably in a match between Australia and South Africa when AB De Villiers was bowled but the Hawk-Eye replay predicting the ball went over the stumps by some distance. On this incident, the founder and CEO of Hawk-Eye, Dr Paul Hawkins, said ‘the technology has only made four inaccurate rulings since an upgraded version of the technology was introduced eight years ago’.

Hawk-Eye have also broadened out in cricket developing Ultra-edge. This superseded the existing Snicometer, which uses directional microphones to detect small sounds made as the ball hits the bat or pad.

The impact of Hawk-Eye technology has cannot be underestimated. It still causes debate amongst fans and professionals alike about its accuracy and whether it should be used at all but with all 12 full member countries of the ICC except India agreeing the technology works, the technology in cricket has exploded in popularity and become an integral part of the game.

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