WO1993004446A1 - Race monitor - Google Patents

Race monitor

Info

Publication number
WO1993004446A1
WO1993004446A1 PCT/CA1992/000329 CA9200329W WO9304446A1 WO 1993004446 A1 WO1993004446 A1 WO 1993004446A1 CA 9200329 W CA9200329 W CA 9200329W WO 9304446 A1 WO9304446 A1 WO 9304446A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
race
transponder
means
scanner
computer
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/CA1992/000329
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Douglas A. Laird
Original Assignee
Laird Douglas A
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Family has litigation

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G04HOROLOGY
    • G04FTIME-INTERVAL MEASURING
    • G04F8/00Apparatus for measuring unknown time intervals by electromechanical means
    • G04F8/08Means used apart from the time-piece for starting or stopping same
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C1/00Registering, indicating or recording the time of events or elapsed time, e.g. time-recorders for work people
    • G07C1/22Registering, indicating or recording the time of events or elapsed time, e.g. time-recorders for work people in connection with sports or games
    • G07C1/24Race time-recorders

Abstract

A monitor for use in running races, biathlons, duathlons, triathlons and cross country ski races includes a transponder (1), which is carried by each of the contestants in the race, a scanner (2) for mounting in each of a plurality of gates located at race monitoring stations, each gate admitting one runner at a time, a reader (3) for reading the unique identification code contained in each transponder (1) when a contestant contacts a target holding the scanner (2) and a computer (4) which a built-in clock for determining the elapsed time taken by the contestant to reach the race station, and for providing a printout indicating, inter alia, the position of the contestant in the race. A light (12) is provided on the target carrying the scanner (2) for indicating that the identification code of the transponder (1) has been read. A horn or tweeter (13) can also be provided for emitting an audible signal that the transponder (1) code has been read. The information obtained at an individual race station can be transmitted to a central point, and fed into another computer (20) for providing an overview of the race.

Description

RACE MONITOR

This invention relates to a race monitor. While the device of the present invention was specifically designed for running races, i.e. marathons, it will be appreciated that the device can be used to monitor other races such as biathlons, duathlons, triathlons, bicycle races and cross country ski races.

The usual practice in races of the type described above is to issue a uniquely numbered, paper bib to each participant prior to a race. In a biathlon or triathlon, the number is also written on the legs or arms of each participant, because they may not be wearing bibs at all times during a race. The problem with such a system is that in races involving a large number of participants and many timing stations spaced apart along the path of the race, a large number of officials is required to monitor the race. Moreover, communications between the various stations and a central point (usually the start/finish line) can also be a problem. Accordingly, it is difficult for race officials and announcers to keep track of the progress of the participants, i.e. to provide a comprehensive overview of the race.

The object of the present invention is to provide a solution to the above problems by providing a relatively simple race monitor which does not rely on a large number of race officials, and which can provide more or less simultaneous progress data as race participants pass through stations located in the path of the race.

Accordingly, the present invention relates to a race monitor for use in multi-contestant races comprising transponder means for carrying by each contestant, each said transponder means having a unique identification code; a plurality of scanner means for mounting on a plurality of aligned individual contestant gates for causing said transponder means to emit its identification code; reader

SUBSTITUTE SHEET means connected to each said scanner means for receiving said code; and first computer means including clock means for receiving and storing information concerning race times from said reader means.

The invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention, and wherein:

Figure 1 is a schematic, perspective view of a race monitor in accordance with the present invention; and

Figure 2 is a schematic, block diagram of a complete race monitor system in accordance with the present invention.

Referring to the drawings, the basic elements of the invention include a transponder 1, which is carried by an athlete, a scanner 2 for mounting at a monitoring or timing station (not shown) , a reader 3 attached to each scanner 2 and a computer 4 for receiving a signal from the reader 3.

The transponder 1 is a small device containing its own unique identification number. The transponder is an inert device which is activated by a radio signal, which causes the transponder to respond with its own identifying number, which number is also assigned to a contestant. A suitable transponder is the 9/16" TX1104 transponder available from Destron/IDI Inc. of Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. which has a range of 34 billion unique identification combination. Each athlete in a race wears a wrist watch or band containing a transponder 1.

The transponder 1 is read by a scanner 2 when the transponder is placed in contact with a fiberglass, disc¬ shaped target 6 (Fig.l) containing the scanner. The scanner 2 emits a low power 400 kHz interrogation signal which energizes an access card (not shown) in the transponder 1. A signal from the transponder card is filtered and amplified by the scanner 2 and transmitted to the reader 3. Suitable scanners and readers are also available from Destron/IDI Inc.

SUBSTITUTE SHEET The reader 3 receives the improved signal from the scanner 2 and digitizes such signal, interprets the data and performs tests on the data to ensure the validity thereof.

A pair of targets 6 are mounted on a single monitor box 8 (Fig.2). A plurality of such boxes 8 are mounted on a row of frames or ports (not shown) to define gates similar to those formed by supermarket checkout counters. Preferably the gates are 30 to 36 inches wide, permitting the passage of only one athlete at a time. The targets 6 are mounted at an angle of about 20° on one side of each gate, and at a height of approximately three feet from the ground. An athlete passing either side of the box 8 will have access to a target 6. Each target 6 also carries a light 9, which provides a visible signal that the scanner 2 has read the transponder 1 of the athlete passing through the gate. A post 10 extending upwardly form the box 8 carries a sponsor's sign 11 containing lights 12 (Fig. 1) . A horn or tweeter 13 or another noise maker is mounted in each end of the sign 12 for providing an audible signal that an athlete has passed through the gate and his/her transponder identification has been read. The box 8 contains a pair of readers 3, computers 4, printers 14 and a radio 15 for transmitting data to remote central results and/or announcer radios 17 and 18 (Fig. 1) , respectively. The radios 15, 17 and 18 are off-the-shelf two-way RF frequency devices. Acceptable data communication equipment is available from Data Radio Inc., Town of Mount Royal, Quebec, the equipment including models BDLC, BDL5-S5, Dataradio T-Modem 96, Dataradio 4800 SRM, 9600 SRM Radio Modem, MDLC modem data link and Dataradio S-l, S-5 Series 4800 and 9600 model.

The radio 17 is connected to a central results computer 20, which is connected to a central results printer 21. The radio 18 is connected to an announcer's computer 23, which is connected to an announcer's printer 24. Thus, each time the transponder of an athlete is read by the scanner 2,

SUBSTITUTE SHEET O 93/0444 the location and time of the athlete are virtually instantaneously available.

It will be appreciated that the apparatus described herein can be used for foot or running races, biathlons, duathlons, triathlons and cross country ski races. Before the start of a race, each entrant is issued a unique bib number for identification purposes. The number, typically on a paper bib is attached to the athlete's clothing. In a biathlon or triathlon, the number is also written on the arms or legs of the participants, because they may not be wearing their bibs at all times during a race. This identification system is standard for all races and would continue to be used in conjunction with the apparatus of the present invention.

Each athlete in a race carries a wrist strap containing a transponder 1. The transponder 1 can be built into a wristwatch, can be mounted in a wristwatch-like housing, or can be otherwise attached to an athlete. In any event, a transponder 1 is provided for each athlete. Immediately prior to the race, a computer file is built equating the athlete's transponder number to the race number. Such a computer file can be created prior to race day. The timing stations equipped with boxes 8 can be used for race check-in procedures, in which case the race monitoring stations are located so that each entrant must pass through a gate to enter the staging area where the race starts. The length of the race, type of event and number of entrants will dictate the number of stations required, so that there is little or no congestion. Because it does not matter which gate the athlete passes through, the athletes will naturally enter gates which are not in use. The use of a large target such as a disc carrying the scanner 2 makes it easy for an athlete to quickly locate the scanner prior to each race. If necessary, as the athletes approach timing stations, race officials instruct them to touch the transponder 1 in the center of the target 6 as they pass through a chute.

4 When a transponder 1 touches a scanner 2, the identification number of the transponder is sent from the scanner to the reader 3 and thence to the computer 4. While the computer 4 is preferably a personal computer, it could be replaced by a device capable of reading the identification numbers from the reader and matching the number to an internal clock, storing the data, and transmitting the data to a computer. The computer 4 reads the identification number received from the reader, reads its own clock which is the elapsed time from the start of the race, creates a file of identification numbers and times and causes printing of the numbers and times for backup purposes. Simultaneously, a signal is emitted to illuminate the lights 9 and 12, and to activate the tweeter 13. The identification number and time records from each timing station can be instantly relayed by the radios 15, 17 and 18 to central computers 20 and 23 (which may be one device) for announcing and television identification.

A combination of individual chutes or gates and lights/horns or tweeters immediately indicate whether a successful read has occurred. If a contestant does not contact the scanner 2 or if there is an equipment failure, both the timing crew and the athlete are immediately aware of the problem.

It will be appreciated that in its simplest form the monitor includes the transponder 1, the scanner 2, the reader 3 and a computer 4 for receiving and storing data. The other elements of the invention are indented to provide visual and audible indications of whether each transponder is being read, and to provide instantaneous information to others concerning the times and locations of contestants.

SUBSTITUTE SHEET

Claims

:THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION IN WHICH AN EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OR PRIVILEGE IS CLAIMED ARE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:
1. A race monitor for use in multi-contestant races comprising transponder means for carrying by each contestant, each said transponder means having a unique identification code; a plurality of scanner means for mounting on a plurality of aligned individual contestant gates for causing said transponder means to emit its identification code; reader means connected to each said scanner means for receiving said code; and first computer means including clock means for receiving and storing information concerning race times from said reader means.
2. A race monitor according to claim 1, including light means connected to said first computer means for providing a visual indication that the identification code of a transponder means has been read by said reader means.
3. A race monitor according to claim 2, including sound producing means connected to said first computer means for providing an audible indication that the identification code of a transponder means has been read by said reader means.
4. A race monitor according to claim 1, including first printer means connected to said first computer means for printing information from said first computer means.
5. A race monitor according to claim 1, including radio means connected to said first computer means for transmitting information concerning a race; second central computer means for receiving information from a plurality of said first computer means and providing an overview of a race.
PCT/CA1992/000329 1991-08-23 1992-07-31 Race monitor WO1993004446A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
CA 2049783 CA2049783A1 (en) 1991-08-23 1991-08-23 Race monitor
CA2,049,783 1991-08-23

Applications Claiming Priority (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP50398292A JPH07500934A (en) 1991-08-23 1992-07-31
EP19920916385 EP0600927B1 (en) 1991-08-23 1992-07-31 Race monitor
DE1992614826 DE69214826D1 (en) 1991-08-23 1992-07-31 Monitoring device for running

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO1993004446A1 true true WO1993004446A1 (en) 1993-03-04

Family

ID=4148245

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/CA1992/000329 WO1993004446A1 (en) 1991-08-23 1992-07-31 Race monitor

Country Status (5)

Country Link
EP (1) EP0600927B1 (en)
JP (1) JPH07500934A (en)
CA (1) CA2049783A1 (en)
DE (1) DE69214826D1 (en)
WO (1) WO1993004446A1 (en)

Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0660273A2 (en) * 1993-12-22 1995-06-28 DIEHL GMBH & CO. Time-keeping device for sporting events
EP0660272A2 (en) * 1993-12-22 1995-06-28 DIEHL GMBH & CO. Time-keeping device for sporting events
WO1997034262A1 (en) * 1996-03-12 1997-09-18 Dorian Industries Pty. Ltd. Timing apparatus and method
NL1014083C2 (en) * 2000-01-17 2001-07-18 Championchip B V A method for providing information by phone.
WO2003015035A1 (en) * 2001-08-01 2003-02-20 Sport Ident Timing System Ab Athlete identification sheet
FR2832016A1 (en) * 2001-11-08 2003-05-09 Auguste Pizzanelli Mobile information system, e.g. for sports or conference use, has large modular deployable crate contained and touch screen computer with screen readable at a distance and badge reader

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4823367A (en) * 1987-08-07 1989-04-18 Rikagaku Kenkyujyo and Hochiki Corp. Method and apparatus for automatic lap counting
EP0409568A2 (en) * 1989-07-18 1991-01-23 Seiko Instruments Inc. Electronic timepiece
DE3929048A1 (en) * 1989-09-01 1991-03-07 Johann Nowotny Automatic time-keeper for sports events e.g. marathons - uses remote-control measurement units carried by competitors and communicating by HF ultra-central evaluation computer
EP0432801A2 (en) * 1989-12-15 1991-06-19 Kazuo Takahashi Method for determining sequence of arrival and racing time of runners at finish line by use of bar codes

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4823367A (en) * 1987-08-07 1989-04-18 Rikagaku Kenkyujyo and Hochiki Corp. Method and apparatus for automatic lap counting
EP0409568A2 (en) * 1989-07-18 1991-01-23 Seiko Instruments Inc. Electronic timepiece
DE3929048A1 (en) * 1989-09-01 1991-03-07 Johann Nowotny Automatic time-keeper for sports events e.g. marathons - uses remote-control measurement units carried by competitors and communicating by HF ultra-central evaluation computer
EP0432801A2 (en) * 1989-12-15 1991-06-19 Kazuo Takahashi Method for determining sequence of arrival and racing time of runners at finish line by use of bar codes

Non-Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 14, no. 485 (C-0772)23 October 1990 & JP,A,22 00 280 ( RAIBU ART ) 8 August 1990 *
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 9, no. 30 (P-333)1 October 1984 *
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 9, no. 62 (P-342)16 March 1985 & JP,A,59 196 493 ( SOUGOU BOUSAI ) 7 November 1984 *

Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0660273A2 (en) * 1993-12-22 1995-06-28 DIEHL GMBH & CO. Time-keeping device for sporting events
EP0660272A2 (en) * 1993-12-22 1995-06-28 DIEHL GMBH & CO. Time-keeping device for sporting events
EP0660272A3 (en) * 1993-12-22 1996-05-22 Diehl Gmbh & Co Time-keeping device for sporting events.
EP0660273A3 (en) * 1993-12-22 1996-05-22 Diehl Gmbh & Co Time-keeping device for sporting events.
US5654685A (en) * 1993-12-22 1997-08-05 Diehl Gmbh & Co. Timekeeping arrangement for sporting competitions
WO1997034262A1 (en) * 1996-03-12 1997-09-18 Dorian Industries Pty. Ltd. Timing apparatus and method
NL1014083C2 (en) * 2000-01-17 2001-07-18 Championchip B V A method for providing information by phone.
WO2001059712A1 (en) * 2000-01-17 2001-08-16 Championchip B.V. Method for making information available by telephone
WO2003015035A1 (en) * 2001-08-01 2003-02-20 Sport Ident Timing System Ab Athlete identification sheet
FR2832016A1 (en) * 2001-11-08 2003-05-09 Auguste Pizzanelli Mobile information system, e.g. for sports or conference use, has large modular deployable crate contained and touch screen computer with screen readable at a distance and badge reader

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
EP0600927B1 (en) 1996-10-23 grant
EP0600927A1 (en) 1994-06-15 application
JPH07500934A (en) 1995-01-26 application
CA2049783A1 (en) 1993-02-24 application
DE69214826D1 (en) 1996-11-28 grant

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