While VB may not be everybody’s first choice of refreshing ale, there’s no denying that they’ve come up with some fantastic smart devices to promote both their own brew and the Australian summer of cricket over the last few years.
First there was the talking David Boon, which was followed by a talking Ian Botham the next season, with the two offering up some cracking commentary and banter throughout live matches.
An armchair Warney followed, and last summer we had the chance to win the live VB scoreboard.
This season, with literally dozens of matches to be played thanks to the cricket World Cup, VB have come up with a device to help cricket lovers stay on top of every match to be played – the VB Live Cricket Watch.
Techly caught up with General Manager VB at Carlton United Breweries, Craig Maclean, who told us all about the smartwatch’s functions, how long its battery will last, and pointed out that our humble local brewers have beaten tech giants Apple in getting a smartwatch to market. (We didn’t mention that they’re behind Samsung, LG, Motorola… let’s not quibble here!)
Techly: Will the watch just work for the 2014-15 international cricket season, including the Cricket World Cup?
Sam: The Live Cricket Watch will capture all official Australian team Test and ODI matches, played in Australian up until January 2016. The Watch will also be configured to feed you live Australian cricket scores throughout the Cricket World Cup.
We understand the watch will link to an app on your smartphone – does the phone have to be nearby for the watch to update the score and the time? How does it communicate – Bluetooth? WiFi?
You must have a compatible smartphone – Apple iPhone 4S or later (running iOS7 or later) or a handset running on Android 4.3 or later, with an active 3G/4G data connection or WiFi connection.
The smartphone should also have a functioning Bluetooth Smart compatible chipset, and will need to be within Bluetooth connectivity of the watch (Bluetooth connectivity is subject to smartphone device and surrounding infrastructure – generally up to ten meters coverage).
The app is called ‘Victoria Bitter Live Cricket Watch’.
Are the score updates going to be live, or as close to real time as possible?
The scores will be up to the minute.
How detailed are the scoreboards? Can you see bowling figures, and is the interface clickable?
When the VB Live Cricket Watch is connected to a compatible smartphone during an official Australian team game, the main display will show:
- Who’s playing (also identifying who is the batting team is)
- Current live score
- Current batsmen, what score they have made, and who is on strike
When you press button A, the ‘Summary’ button, it will show a score summary with additional information that includes:
- Current live score and over count
- Team status in the game (winning by/trailing by)
- Current run rate or run rate required for ODI matches
When you press button B, the ‘Push Event update’ button, it will show the previous major event that has happened in the game. This may include:
- Wicket (including type of wicket)
- Boundary scored (6 only)
- Individual batsman milestone (runs) 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 runs
- Partnership milestone (runs) 100 / 200 / 300 runs
- Runs scored, Team total 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 runs
- Approaching individual milestone – approaching century/approaching double century
- First ball of the day
- Hat trick
- Play stopped
Can you describe the battery life on the device? Do you have to recharge it often?
As a guide, battery life will last up to two days during a full live cricket match (subject to usage) or up to three days without a match in play (also subject to usage). The watch requires three hours to fully charge via mains power when the battery is empty.
How much would one of these things retail for if you sold it as a standalone unit? If the demand is there, would you consider that as a product option down the track?
The VB Live Cricket Watch is a money can’t buy product, only available to loyal VB drinkers. At the moment, we’re not looking to release the watch as a standalone retail product.
Does a smart watch suit the target VB market? The Boony doll was legendary, and smartwatches seem like they might suit a different average bloke?
Absolutely. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, the VB Cricket Watch gives you up-to-the-minute scores for every game, vibrates for major events, and tells the time so you know when it’s time to knock-off for a big cold beer.
There is so much cricket on this summer (4 Tests, 12 ODIs, 49 World Cup matches) – Aussies can’t possibly watch it all, so the watch allows you, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, to be up-to-date with the score.
We reckon we are right on the pulse – we’ve beaten Apple to it by launching the most useful wearable technology to market.