Runners cross the finish wire(less) in Boston Marathon

"With the chip, people aren't elbowing each other to get to the starting line," he said.

All 15,661 registered runners were given a microchip to tie to their shoes. As the runner passed the starting line, the chip activated a sensor, starting their own personal clock running. Additional sensors marked the pace every five kilometres, at the half-way point and at the finish line. Observers could track the runners online from a PC or along the route using a wireless-enabled iPaq handheld computer from Compaq Computer Corp.

Compaq had 30 volunteers with iPaqs along the race route, helping spectators track their family and friends. It wasn't enough, said Compaq spokesman Tim Willeford. As handhelds become more popular, individuals will be able to make more use of similar tracking technology. "If my mother came down and had her own little iPaq computer, she could track the race," he said.

Fans may also receive e-mail notification sent to wireless access protocol (WAP) enabled devices at checkpoints along the route. About 21 percent of the runners signed up, according to race officials.

The microchip isn't a perfect tool for deciding winners. Last year's Boston Marathon came down to a photo finish for the top three runners for both sexes, despite chips in their shoes. "The chip is great for telling time, but the chip is on the foot and the winner is determined by the torso," said John Burgholzer, technology coordinator for the Boston Athletic Club, the body organising the marathon.

This year's race wasn't quite so close. Lee Bong-Ju of South Korea upset the Kenyan contingent with a time of 2:09. Silvio Guerra of Ecuador placed second, 24 seconds behind, while Joshua Chelang'a of Kenya came in third, 46 seconds after Lee.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?