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IPICO sports

2007-08-07 19:46:31.671543+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

IPICO Sports has timing systems for runners, and is investigating timing systems for bicycling events. If we could have information of which riders have passed which rest stops for the Marin Century, especially if we can figure out a way to see where the groups of people are and try to deal with staffing and sag issues better, that'd be worth a buck or two per rider.

[ related topics: Bay Area Sports Bicycling ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-07 22:16:20.614451+00 by: ebradway

Hehehehe.... IPICO Sports was selected to provide detailed results to nearly 50,000 participants of one of the largest road races in the world... which links to an early press release about the BolderBoulder using their timing systems. What they don't link to are all the problems the system had...

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-07 22:55:01.859721+00 by: Dan Lyke

Especially since the technologies for bicycles (faster targets, RFID tags on the feet are actually stationary, lots of metal, longer range) are still being worked out, I wouldn't do the first year without human backup on the double century rider tracking. And I wouldn't promise the riders anything. But if we can figure out how to make it cost effective, it'd be really cool to know how the course is flowing in close to real time, even if that meant passing CDs around via SAG vehicles (for places where we don't have radio coverage).

Given some of the paranoia about RFID readers and privacy, it's amazing how tough it appears to be to make some of this technology work...

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-08 03:53:17.83807+00 by: ebradway [edit history]

I would think bar codes on number tags would be an easier solution - especially if you don't need 100% accuracy for purposes of managing support. You could scan the tags as folks go by using a simple hand-scanner. The local laptop could tag the scan with time and place and upload directly to a central server. It's really an inventory management issue... Talk to the folks at Symbol!

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-08 14:43:09.385871+00 by: Dan Lyke

The problem is one of mass of people and staffing. The double century riders have an incentive to be scanned, but they're sparse enough that hollering a number works fine.

If the barcode numbers could be read at a distance automatically that'd work, but let's say that the Lincoln School rest stop has 40 people a minute going through, for several hours, that's a lot of barcode scanning, and the traffic management issues to try to make sure that each of them is actually scanned is super rough. If we could do this with gates or mats on the road, it becomes a lot simpler.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-09 00:45:11.213256+00 by: ebradway

That's why I wondered if you needed 100% scanning. If you are just trying to track the traffic flow patterns, you don't need 100%. Of course, RFID is supposed to be designed to solve these problems. Maybe IPICO will figure it out...