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How Does Timing Races With RFID Work?

Posted By RFID Journal, 01.04.2019

Can you please explain how the technology benefits sports-timing applications?




With any RFID-based sports-timing system, RFID transponders are attached to athletes. Each transponder has a unique identification number, which is associated with a specific individual. So, for example, let's says Jane Doe was given number 1234567890, with other participants receiving different numbers. Readers would be placed at the starting and finish lines, and at intermediate points as well. The readers would track when each athlete passed each point, and when he or she finished the race.

The tag on each athlete's bib, shoe or ski boot would be interrogated and forwarded to a back-end system, along with a timestamp. Each reader would have a unique ID number, and that information (and sometimes which antenna read the tag) would be sent to the back-end system as well. So, let's say reader #1 was placed at the starting line. When it interrogated tag 1234567890, that information, along with the time of the read, would be transmitted to the back-end software, enabling you to know that Jane Doe had crossed the starting line at, say, 10:08 AM.

When reader #2, which might be located at the halfway point, read Jane's tag, it would transmit the time of the read to the back-end system, letting you know she had passed the halfway point at 1:17 PM. And when reader #3, situated at the finish line, interrogated her tag, the system would update her record to indicate she had completed the race at 3:49 PM.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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