07 March 2009

How RFID technology aids snowboarders

Abatec - an Austrian enterprise, has recently made an interesting research from our point of view, and came up with a really geeky gadget. Guys from Abatec looked closely at RFID technology, studied it and figured out a way how to put it in practice for outdoor sports. What they did is basically very simple if you know what RFID technology is. Anyway, starting in snowboarding, RFID will bring the ability to track down every move of snowboarder when he is on the track. Reminds me of telemetry used widely in motorsport - idea is the same: to gather as much information from where the action takes place as possible.

RFID is an abbreviation of Radio Frequency Identification. The name speaks for itself. Radio sensors, placed on snowboard in our case, send information to data center where trainer for example can see every nuance of the one under wardship, hence coach can be more factual about his or hers mistakes or progress. On the other hand, training centers can provide beginners with better videos of professional snowboarders on the track.

Sounds cool, doesn't it? But RFID doesn't work that easy. First of all, every slope where this radio technology is going to be used has to be equipped with dozens of receivers alongside every route. They in turn will need some processing power to calculate data delay. The good side is then that there is nothing to be very expensive in this scheme. Also, RFID can be applied to more outdoor sports like skiing or skating. Nontheless, RFID still needs to go thru some adjustments to work well in tandem with a snowboard so we probably will not hear about it again any time soon.

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