On the First Step to a Customised UHF RFID Tag for Sports Timing.
Nikias Klohr, CTO of Race Result, will again give a talk on sports timing at RFID & Wireless IoT tomorrow 2018. At last year’s event, where Race Result shared exclusive insights into the world of RFID-based timekeeping, they got into contact with several tag suppliers. In cooperation with two of these suppliers, Race Result developed UHF RFID tags specifically for sports timing.
09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
UHF transponders are indispensable at major running events for the timekeeping of millions of runners. The single-use tags are usually integrated into race numbers of every participant and are captured by readers on the course. With the help of RFID tracking, every individual runner can check their automatically recorded time on a website after the event. But the standard UHF tags used at these events leave room for improvements: the antenna can be detuned when stuck to a sweaty human body. So, it is necessary to add a foam spacer a few millimeters thick to separate the transponder from the athlete’s body.
So, to develop an UHF tag specifically for sports timing, Race Result performed numerous tests in their in-house facilities designed to resemble timing situations. In the end, the decision was made to use two custom-made UHF transponders featuring an antenna that is suitable to work near the human body.
These tags offer multiple advantages compared to other tags. One major benefit is that the foam spacer is only as half as thick as with a standard tag. This significantly reduces the logistical effort of transporting race numbers. A single race number might be light, but 40,000 race numbers fill a 7.5 ton truck. Moreover, the reading performance of the new inlay is increased. Contrary to expectations, the development of custom-designed tags and the individual tag price turned out to be cheaper than standard tags.
With the newest transponder generation, the reader hardware constitutes the biggest obstacle. In most applications, sports timing RFID readers run on batteries. “However, since many readers focus more on signal power than on sensitivity, the battery consumption and heat development remain high,” says Nikias Klohr, who will illustrate his view on this topic in his presentation at RFID & Wireless IoT tomorrow 2018.
Race Result plans to introduce their customised UHF tag in the second half of this year. The first three million runners will soon check their race results recorded with the help of Race Result’s new tag for sports timing.
On Developer Day, Technology is Key!
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Nikias Klohr will speak on developer day in forum 2, Technology & Hardware.
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