Dhruva, Cricinfo’s ‘Cricinfo Genie’: Next killer app

How many times have you sent an SMS to know the cricket score? To know whether Tendulkar is still on the crease? Now imagine, rather than the anxious texting, what if you could actually catch the live action (simulated) on your mobile?
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Cricinfo Genie: Screenshot
Every single day, development teams at technology and content companies spend some good time brainstorming over how to come up with the next killer app…. At most times this goal remains elusive… With Cricinfo Genie, Bangalore based Dhruva Interactive which is one of the world’s most respected game developers and Cricinfo.com which is the world’s number One cricket portal have partnered to come up with an application that looks all set to be a killer app! The mobile application is a personal cricket companion that simulates live action from the ground, in a high-quality animation format and is loaded with features including the option of switching between highlights and live match. The highlights show upto 30 boundaries and all the dismissals in the inning. Apart from the (simulated) Live Action and the highlights, consumers get access to latest news from the Cricketing world, schedules of International matches/series, results of the recently concluded matches, interesting statistics and trivia from Cricinfo.com. Speaking to Animation ‘xpress, Dhruva Interactive CEO K Rajesh Rao commented,” Dhruva has always stood for quality, innovation, pushing the envelope…. The Cricinfo Genie is a great example of all that we stand for. We hope that Cricket lovers worldwide will enjoy the experience of watching live cricket in a cool animated format . Cricket lovers will not have to miss their favorite game ever again” he added. Anil Nair, Creative Head Cricinfo Mobile stated, “Cricinfo has been the No 1 destination for cricket fans on the Internet for very long now. We are now set to replicate that on the mobile. The Cricinfo Genie, quite simply, will be the de facto way to consume cricket on the mobile phone. “I have no doubts that the Genie is the killer cricket app. Not only can you watch cricket live in an accurate simulated form but you have the entire world of cricket … news, statistics, trivia and the whole nine yards packed into one compact application. Believe me, once you are used to your Genie, you won’t be able to live without it.” He added. The affordable application is available with most major operators throughout India and is soon to be launched worldwide.It can be downloaded from the content portals like Airtel Live!, Planet Hutch or R-World. After being downloaded, the application when run the first time will ask users to subscribe presenting them with options (operator specific). Once the subscription period expires, the user will be notified and asked to renew. Subscription period and prices could be based on a complete series or for a day or even 5 days. The challenge of translating the idea into reality
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Cricinfo Genie: Screenshot
Cricinfo Genie is one of the most innovative products in the mobile space. While live simulation has been done on the Web for games like baseball and tennis, never before has it been attempted on the mobile anywhere in the world. Streaming live data in realtime on a 2G network has been a technological challenge. The great idea brewed in a coffee shop over a cup of coffee where the teams from Dhruva and Cricinfo sat together and brainstormed over the idea. As much as the idea bore the hallmark of turning into a killer app, the process of translating this idea into reality with a demo application was a killing challenge too. Another challenge was to sell this concept (Of a real time data connected application) to the operators Dhruva Interactive product manager Raju Patil shared some of the development related information and experience with Animation ‘xpress. “Genie is a connected application and data from Cricinfo drives the application – simulation, news, results, schedule, trivia etc. This involved building a whole system with connected feature – application development, backend data server and content management system. Of all the development the biggest challenge was simulation of Live Action. Dhruva has a pedigree of developing high quality sports games in the past. This knowledge came very handy when developing very challenging simulation system needed and our engine is designed to simulate most possible actions from the Cricket ground” he commented. To compliment our highly realistic engine, we decided to adapt real life look and feel for players and their animation. We put in lot of effort in studying the various batsmen shots, bowlers style, fielders actions, wicket dismissals and so on. This helped us in creating very realistic characters and actions. Since mobile devices are very constrained platforms, we had to work towards a great degree in optimizing the graphics yet same time not compromising on quality of Live Action” he added. Porting to various handsets: Another challenge Mobile Application development is one area where testing and porting take as much effort and resource as development. “Porting to various handsets was the next big challenge. We had to take into consideration technical constraints not only in terms of graphics, processing power and screen size but connectivity issues with various handsets” said Raju Patil. “We designed and integrated a Genie Data server which serves all the Cricket data to the end users. This system ensures data is served in seamlessly and timely fashion for all Cricket matches. We worked very closely with Tech teams of operators to integrate our system into their network” he added. The next challenge: Taking it to the global market “Overall, Cricinfo Genie has been the most innovative and challenging application developed by Dhruva’s mobile division. We are very proud and excited about this product after all the hard work put in. Not to forget, we have bigger challenges taking this further to global market!” concluded Patil. connect@animationxpress.com
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