Sony buys Hawk-Eye, the ball tracking tech company

Sony has bought Hawk-eye, the company that provides the technology to track moving balls in sports like cricket and tennis.

“Sony has announced the acquisition of Hawk-Eye Ltd, a UK based company that specialises in providing tracking technology to sports events and broadcasters,” the company said in a statement on Sunday.

The company is hoping that “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.”

The technology is most famous for its use in spotting the projection of balls in cricket, helping decide whether the ball really would have hit the wicket in decisions regarding LBW; and in tennis at Wimbledon, where the technology is used to help determine where the ball landed.

But while Hawk-Eye first made its name in Cricket broadcasting, it has diversified into Snooker and Coaching as well, with the company currently developing a system for football to ensure that when the ball goes over the goal line it really does count.

“We see strong opportunities on the technological, business and marketing levels to further Sony's leadership and engagement in the sports and broadcasting industry," said Naomi Climer, vice-president Sony Europe, clearly hoping to build on the company’s strength in filming sports events like the World Cup in 3D.

Hawk-eye will become an integral part of Sony Professional, the B2B branch of Sony Europe Ltd.

The company hasn’t suggested any plans to bring it to other parts of the consumer business for now, however you can’t help think what the company’s PlayStation division would make of the new tech combined with its motion based controller, the PlayStation Move.

Let’s hope.