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How Can I Track Racers With RFID?

Posted By RFID Journal, 12.03.2009
What would I need to build a radio frequency identification system that would calculate the race times, standings and status of runners in a cross-country track meet?

—Name withheld

———
There's no need to build your own system, as there are companies that provide full solutions. I recently wrote about the system used by the New York City Marathon, for instance (see UHF Solution Tracks 42,000 Runners at the New York City Marathon). Here are some other articles about race-timing systems:

Startup Offers 'Fail-safe' RFID Race-Timing System

UHF Tags Enter the Timing Race

Gen 2 Tags Track Runner, Motorcycle Speeds

In addition to the companies discussed in the above articles, ChampionChip also offers race-timing systems.

You could build your own system, but purchasing RFID interrogators, setting up antennas, buying transponders and integrating an entire system can be a challenge—even for a good systems integrator. My suggestion would be to opt for something already on the market. The firms discussed above have the expertise required for implementation, and have learned from their experiences.

—Mark Roberti, Editor,
RFID Journal

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