Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology Science

New Devices Help Track Olympic Winners 209

Posted by timothy
from the track-more-gymnasts-please dept.
Darren writes "Athletes are going faster, higher and longer and as a result the technology that measures their feats at the Olympics needs to keep up. As a result a number of new devices to help track winners, losers at the Games have been developed, including microchips on marathon runners' shoes, ultrasensitive touch pads in the pool, radar guns at the beach volleyball and cameras that take 1000 images per second."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Devices Help Track Olympic Winners

Comments Filter:
  • by Mateito (746185) on Monday August 23, 2004 @05:58PM (#10050951) Homepage
    Its always been easy to track the winners at the Olympics.

    They're the ones with the medals hanging around their necks.

  • RFID Chips (Score:5, Informative)

    by rjstanford (69735) on Monday August 23, 2004 @05:58PM (#10050956) Homepage Journal
    Putting RFID chips on your shoes is nothing new. All of the local races down here use ChampionChip [championchip.com] timing, unless they're really small. Have done for years, too. There's a local company, Run-Far [run-far.com] who times most of the races as well - you run over mats at the start, finish, and useful places in the middle. Works pretty well.
    • Re:RFID Chips (Score:5, Informative)

      by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:14PM (#10051076)
      Putting RFID chips on your shoes is nothing new.
      Civil liberties people prepare to be shocked. Not only are RFID chips in your shoes, but according to the July 2004 IEEE Spectrum [ieee.org], they're also in
      • All Dockers khaki pants
      • All Colgate Shave Cream packages
      • All Trojan Ultra Ribbed condom boxes
      • Some Gilette razors

      While I'm sure that nobody is tracking you right now, RFID tags can be read by several meters away and contain unique identifiers. If you thought the Pentium chip unique IDs were bad, this should (rightly so) worry you considerably more.

      • by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:52PM (#10051393) Homepage Journal
        Not only are RFID chips in your shoes, but according to the July 2004 IEEE Spectrum, they're also in [...]
        All Trojan Ultra Ribbed condom boxes
        [...] this should (rightly so) worry you considerably more.


        It does...

        Why the "Ultra ribbed" ones?
        What are they hiding? What are they trying to find out?!

        I'm scared.
      • by ctr2sprt (574731) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:53PM (#10051395)
        And yet the RFID-enabled badge I use to open doors at work needs to be 1 inch away from the wall-mounted sensor. Perhaps if I carried a package of condoms in my khaki pants to work...
      • Re:RFID Chips (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Hogwash McFly (678207)
        Secret Government Agent 1: This guy's well groomed, wears nice trousers and is sexually responsible.

        Secret Government Agent 2: That's terrorist activity. Intercept, INTERCEPT!
      • All the privacy nuts who go on and on about this stuff drive me insane. It is like they have neve rshopped anywhere in the past 10 years.

        Whenever you buy something the cashier basically *has* to swipe it over ahigh frequency magnetic / EM emitter device to nuke the anti-shoplifiting chips they have. If they forget to do this the instant you walk out the door alarms blare etc.

        Even *if* the manufacturer had RFID chips in their items seperate from the stores anti-theft tags, said chips would also be permena
    • Re:RFID Chips (Score:3, Interesting)

      by severoon (536737)

      So...does this mean that when a runner's foot (with the RFID) crosses the finish line, that's the time that's counted? That seems wrong to me...they ought to pin it to their chest (unless the chip crossing the line isn't noted by the computers as the time).

      Come to think of it, what do the Olympic rules say about this? What part of a runner's body stops the clock?

      • Re:RFID Chips (Score:2, Interesting)

        You are correct, that is why ChampionChip and other RFID timing systems are not used for high speed races such as the short-distance track events. They are mostly used in road races (5K, 10K, etc) and other events such as triathlons.

        Some RFID manufacturers have developed a chip that is placed in the bib (race number) There are a few problems with this though.

        1. Reads - Champion Chip and other RFID systems usually operate with a pad on the ground and the read height is a factor of outside EMI. On a good
    • Re:RFID Chips (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xzoon (728128)
      Putting RFID chips on your shoes is nothing new.

      Neither is touchpads and startingblocks in swimming. I've been a timekeeper for our local swimmingclub for a couple of years using this equipment, and so have my dad before me.

      What makes it news is that almost noone knows about the equipment that gives them their times (or disqualifes them).

      And to a poster a bit down, the equipment I use is able to measure down to 1/1000 of a second, but this is rarely used due to the incertainty. A swimmer might fi
    • by nakaduct (43954) on Monday August 23, 2004 @10:56PM (#10052982)
      Putting RFID chips on your shoes is nothing new.

      These are the soles... that time men's tries!
  • but is there a device to track Olympic Weiners? I'm in Athens and I'm starving.
  • Yeah... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:01PM (#10050979)


    > ultrasensitive touch pads in the pool

    I used to know a girl who had a couple of those.

  • Fairness (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:02PM (#10050981)
    No Fair! They will be changing the outcome when they measure the outcome.
    • Re:Fairness (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:07PM (#10051016) Homepage Journal
      No Fair! They will be changing the outcome when they measure the outcome. A finish line is still a finish line. Though I can't recall when they were so precise they could count 100ths of a second.

      Worry about how they'll apply lasers and 3D analysis to score gymnasts, regarding how closely they follow their selection and how 'artistic' it is. Anything judged seems ultimately fair game, though seems more sci-fi than prospective reality anywhere in the near future.

      'Maybe if they have to wear barcoded suits...'

  • Sabre (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:02PM (#10050983) Homepage Journal
    I was at the pub watching the men's sabre competition and we noticed they were wearing helmets the light up in different colors, also wear clothing that detects contact and prevents the usual bloodletting a strike would make. Pretty interesting stuff.
    • Re:Sabre (Score:3, Informative)

      by pjt33 (739471)
      Actually, I think you'll find the sabres used don't have a sharp edge, so it would be bruising rather than bloodletting.
      • Re:Sabre (Score:4, Interesting)

        by EvanED (569694) <evaned@@@gmail...com> on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:20PM (#10051114)
        Tell that to this guy [skysports.com]...

        (To be fair, it's unusual. By insurance rates, fencing is actually one of the safest sports from what I've heard.)
        • Drawing blood in fencing is rare, but the way it happened in the above linked match is about the only way it will happen. Two over agressive fencers clash blades (or blade to mask), and one blade snaps. The point where the blade snaps can be somewhat sharp though in this day and age it won't do serious damage.

          In an olympics in the early 20th century, a fencer was killed when a blade broke, and the remaining part of the blade went through the mask and into the opponents head.

          Now though, the only thing th
          • In an olympics in the early 20th century, a fencer was killed when a blade broke, and the remaining part of the blade went through the mask and into the opponents head.

            I've had a small amount of fencing lessons here at PSU (a semester or of doing the club, not very seriously, a few years back, and then I just finished a semester long course), and I think that the head coach here may have witnessed this event, if it is what the other poster links to. (I can't be sure, it's possible that the tragedy was jus
            • Re:Sabre (Score:2, Informative)

              by Levitate (105591)
              Actually .. it was the 1982 World Championships.

              Snagged from fencing.net

              The drive for safer fencing was prompted by the 1982 tournament death of the Soviet champion Vladimir Smirnov. During an encounter at the Rome World Championships, a blade broke and penetrated Smirnov's mask, mortally wounding him. It remains one of fencing's few tragedies, notable in part because it was so exceptional, and it galvanized the world fencing community to adopt higher standards for equipment.

              In a related story - fenc
              • In a related story - fencing is fun, safe, and you should try it

                I fully agree.

                (choose foil though - it's the thinking man's weapon :)

                Here I would vote epee. Though I've spent my time almost exclusively on foil, this is what seems to be the most popular weapon for beginners to be trained on, so have only gotten the chance to use an epee once.

                I think it's partially that I never liked right of way. Mostly because it's impossible to judge.

                But I'm not a saber fan. Either as a participant or a spectator.
          • Re:Sabre (Score:3, Informative)

            by damiangerous (218679)
            It didn't happen due to a broken blade, I was watching that match. I don't know specifically how it happened, but the guards were entangled briefly.

            Coincidentally, that match also was also the venue for the most disgusting display of "sportsmanship" (or lack thereof) I've seen outside an NFL end zone. Immediately after the match Touya ran around holding his saber like a machine gun and mimed "shooting" Smart several times. Personally I think he should have been tossed out and stripped of his standing at

          • Re:Sabre (Score:3, Interesting)

            by severoon (536737)

            So, what do the rules say on that? If you accidentally kill your opponent, is that an automatic win for you, or what? (I just have to know.)

    • Re:Sabre (Score:5, Informative)

      by DarkFencer (260473) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:32PM (#10051214)
      Actually other then the fact that the fencing equipment in the olympics is wireless, there isn't much new to the electronic sensors. Fencing was one of the first sports to benefit from electronics due to the extreme speed of the action (sabre fencing is the fastest martial art in the world).

      Even with the sensors, an extremely skilled judge (called a director in fencing) is required to determine which competitor is considered the agressor and has 'right-of-way' to see who gets the point.

      On a side note, as a long time fencer actually getting to watch the sport in the olympics for the first time I realised one thing. It is a really bad spectator sport if you do not know the sport yourself. I watched the events on tv with family and friends and unless they showed a slow motion replay, people were just at a loss as to what happened (unless they were fencers themselves).

      • I can vouch for this. I haven't fenced in about 20 years, and it took about half of the first match that I watched for my "visual reflexes" to come back. Before that, I couldn't follow the action.
      • Actually other then the fact that the fencing equipment in the olympics is wireless

        No its not. [athens2004.com]

        See the wire [www.cbc.ca] stiking out the back of the fencer?
        • Not completely wireless but nothing connecting the fencers to a normal fencing 'reel'. Just the body cord connecting the sabre, the lame, the mask, and the wireless gear.

          Just like 'wireless' internet needs wires somewhere (the base station usually) this is still considered wireless fencing.

          • Not completely wireless but nothing connecting the fencers to a normal fencing 'reel'. Just the body cord connecting the sabre, the lame, the mask, and the wireless gear.

            Look at the damn pictures.

            I was watching the women's épée on friday, they had a camera angle from behind the reel. They have the usual wiring coming out of their back to a spring-loaded reel.

            this is still considered wireless fencing.

            Lay off the crack man.
          • Look at the damn pictures of the Womens and Mens sabre. There wasn't a weapon in sight.

            Epee... well, epee hasn't been shown on tv (or at least not that I've seen) but there were no wires outside the uniform for any sabre matches (mens individual, womens individual, mens team)
      • Practical pistol shooting (ie shooting targets in a "combat situation" with handguns) is considered by some to be a martial art. Bet those 9mm bullets go faster than any sabre :-).
      • speaking of which, does anyone have any clue where I can get some of the swordfighting on a video clip? I've tried p2p and so far it's dry.
        Same with the web. (I'm in America, so NBC might be playing with me.)
    • I dont much understand the use of the lights in that, as the judge makes the actual call since they tend to both hit each other (no real clean one way hits)
  • by Xxanmorph (654953) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:03PM (#10050992)
    Now we just need a way to stop the judges from doing something stupid in gymnastics and we'll be set.
    • Actually, it is interesting that as track, swimming, cycling, etc, events become even more precisely measured, gymnastics and diving remain judged by entirely fallible humans. Listening a couple of nights ago to the commentators wonder if the judges noticed one diver's poor entry makes the Games described here seem a little alien to me.
    • Yeah, even with all this technology the weakness is still a human factor.

      Why can't judges watch slow speed replays and other assistment in their judgement... they can turn judging into a science rather than the crud it is currently.
    • I never really considered a sport anything where a third party (judge) decides who wins or loses. This include gymnastics, diving, figure skating and miss universe.

      But no need to debate this, as this is just me. Just my humble opinion. I'm sure very few would agree with me, but heck, it's an OPINION.

  • Something tells me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by baximus (552800) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:05PM (#10051001)
    Something tells me that the technology used will inevitably be faster than the athletes it's used to track. Athletes are, after all, not going twice as high, twice as long or twice as fast, every two years.
    • by space77pup (743735) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:15PM (#10051077)
      True, but it definitely does have to exceed the athlete's abilities. It seems that every Olympics the margin between Gold, Silver and Bronze gets smaller and smaller. What was the difference between Gold and Bronze in the Men's 100M Dash? .02 of a sec. If the technology was even 10 years older, they would probably have called a tie between all three of them.
      • Not a tech issue (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hacksoncode (239847)
        Even 50 years ago, they were using exactly the same technology to figure out this stuff that they're using today: photo finishes. The fact that today the pixs are digital and available instantly and in days of yore you had to wait for them to get developed is merely an optimization.
        • Did you read the article? The "photo" of the finish is a composite of multiple frames (snapped at 1000 fps) of the 8mm immediately after the finish line boundary.
          • You forgot the step where they artificially add the swatch ad in the background :)

            Think about it, if they only scan 8mm of the finish line, how can a stationary ad show up as readable at all? A line scan camera (what they are using) would only show one part of the ad, not all of it, since its really just scanning moving objects coming across the finish line. Yay for more virtual ads...
            • Re:Not a tech issue (Score:2, Informative)

              by Mickut (31426)
              If you look at the finish line, you might notice a small flickering box at the side of the track. Look at it closer (use slow motion if necessary), and you'll notice that it's actually a fast scrolling swatch ad, nothing virtual there. Thus the line scan camera sees different parts of the ad.

              And, if the ad moves at a steady pace, it can also be used as an alignment pattern to fix possible timing fluctuations in the line camera.
              • I stand corrected, but ugh. Hopefully it doesn't annoy the athletes and is hidden from their view. I'd still be a lot happier if they put in a gray code (a bar code for tracking/alignment) or something rather than an ad.
          • Re:Not a tech issue (Score:3, Informative)

            by vrt3 (62368)
            Before the advent of digital technology, they still had a finish photo that looked almost exactly the same as the digital ones.

            They used a camera without a traditional shutter, but with a very narrow slit instead. The film, marked with time marks, moved along continuously (instead of one step at a time as with normal photographs). The narrow slit projects the same area of the finish line onto the film as is captured by the narrow CCD of the digital version.

            I don't know how the film was synchronized though
      • by Anonymous Coward
        "It seems that every Olympics the margin between Gold, Silver and Bronze gets smaller and smaller."

        Besides noting a single excrutiatingly close race, would be nice if you could point to something empirical before espousing this broad stroke.

        I dunno, watched the 400 swimming relay, U.S. won by 3 seconds. Saw the U.S. womens softball team outscore opponents by 57-1 or something.
    • True, however athletes are getting better every year. While there isn't any obvious solid line where performance will stop, what will happen is that things will have to be more percise. Instead of 100th of a second, I wouldn't be surprised if the next olympics has 1000th of a second. With 0.02 seconds splitting the 3 fastest runners in the 100m, you know that's just a bit too close. One bike race they actually had to rerun because the equipment wasn't fast enough to figure out who ran-- and that was jus
  • by four12 (129324) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:06PM (#10051011)
    ...that's about how many are taken of Misty May's and Kerri Walsh's butts as they play a game.

  • by jmcmunn (307798) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:07PM (#10051019)
    I can only assume that most of the finishes will be recorded digitally, along with all of the information collected about speed and time and all of that.

    So where will all of the information go when the games are over? Is there going to be a huge online stockpile where we can all go and watch the ultra slow motion finishes, and look up who had the fastest volleyball spike? I know I could spend hours just watching the slow motion cameras they use to record the divers and sprinters.

    Anyone else interested? Can you imagine how much data they must be generating with all of these cameras and sensors?
  • False Starts (Score:5, Interesting)

    by viggen9 (192812) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:09PM (#10051032)
    Apparently the athletes are improved, too. In track events, a start time within 0.1 seconds of the gun going off is considered a false start. Apparently 0.1 seconds is the fastest reaction time that humans are capable of. Some athletes, though, are now able to react in under 0.1 seconds, and as a result, they are being charged with false starts.
    • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:19PM (#10051104)
      it's just they're anticipating the gun, sometimes they get it right and most of the time they get it wrong: given the new rule that any false starter (after the first start) will be DQ'd I'm sure you won't see 0.1sec reaction times the second time around: to the naked eye the reaction times of the 2nd start they did the other day in the 100m semi-final seemed slower than the 1st for example.

      It'd also be interesting to know how far from the athletes the gun is located and if sound travel speed can have an impact on things (how is the electronic system synchronized to the gun? via sound? some other way?)
      • there's a speaker behind each athlete so that they hear it simultaneously (well, unless you count the sub-thousandths-of-a-second differences in cable length
        • I might be wrong about this, but I actually was looking at the women's 100m yesterday and noticed that the wires leading to the speakers on the inside tracks have more wire coiled up then the ones stretched out to the outside tracks. It makes sense that they're not going to custom-cut a bunch of cables for that particular usage, they're going to get a dozen 25-footers and use them. So they're all the same length, I think.

          Not, of course, that it matters... :-)

      • "It'd also be interesting to know how far from the athletes the gun is located and if sound travel speed can have an impact on things (how is the electronic system synchronized to the gun? via sound? some other way?)"

        There is a mic or some other sensor attached to the starter pistol linked up to mini-loudhalers sitting directly behind each athlete so every competitor hears the start at precisely the same time. They've been doing this for a long time.
      • It'd also be interesting to know how far from the athletes the gun is located and if sound travel speed can have an impact on things (how is the electronic system synchronized to the gun? via sound? some other way?)

        There is a loudspeaker right behind each athlete. Watch some Olympics on TV, duh!

  • by jjeffries (17675) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:21PM (#10051121)
    Bicyclists use a transponder clipped to a spoke on their front wheel to record their finish time. It sends signals from the bike to antennae along the route so judges can confirm who is in first.

    That must be a typical media oversimplification, right? If a race comes down to a scary, rubbing-elbows-with-the-guy-beside-me sprint, I sure don't want the 'win' to be decided by where in its rotation my wheel is when we cross the line together...

    • It's a little ambiguous the way it's phrased, but I suspect this device is used for gross position along the course, not for official final times at the finish.
    • If the transponder is down near the hub, the difference is only about 3". And I expect they would put it there, to reduce effects on wheel balance.

      And if the finish is that close, reviewing the photo would be in order.
      • I'm not sure they would want to throw the wheel balance off even the tiniest bit. After all, those track cyclists are riding $35k bikes. I don't know about you, but if I take out a second mortgage to buy a race bike, I want the damn thing balanced perfectly if only for psychological reasons.

  • by MisterLawyer (770687) <mikelawyer.gmail@com> on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:23PM (#10051150)
    Last month, Engadget had an interesting article [engadget.com] about new "crazy technology being used for timing and scoring the Tour de France".

    from the article: Matsport relied on some rather amazing high-tech timing and scoring technologies this year, including a FinishLynx® high-speed digital finish line and timing camera system, produced by Lynx System Developers, Inc., of Haverhill, Massachusetts, and an AMB Activ transponder timing system, produced by AMB-it, Heemstede, Netherlands

    There is also a really nifty diagram about halfway through the article, showing how the AMB Activ Transponder timing system works.

    Not directly Olympics-related, but since we were on the topic of new technology used to measure athletes...

  • This is great! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mmmmmhotpants (800341)
    I think this is another example of where general technology gets a huge boost because of the demand of an insanely rich non-human-essential industry.

    There is a lot of money in the Olympics, mostly from advertisers on NBC. These new devices are developed more so to improve the TV watcher's experience; there wasn't a need for smart devices in the first Olympics, there is no need now.

    Another example, medical imaging: if it weren't for the millions of you out there who are willing to shell out tons of m
    • Re:This is great! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cft_128 (650084)
      There is a lot of money in the Olympics, mostly from advertisers on NBC. These new devices are developed more so to improve the TV watcher's experience; there wasn't a need for smart devices in the first Olympics, there is no need now.

      Are you sure about that? With the difference between gold and bronze in the men's 100m dash being 0.02 seconds, I think we would need some high speed cameras and not 25 opinions.

  • Shoes? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dj245 (732906) on Monday August 23, 2004 @06:39PM (#10051268) Homepage
    Would it not be better to put the microchip in the athlete number on the chest of the athelete? I am concerned that (assuming they only have one chip each in one shoe) one runner will have their left foot forward while the other has their right foot forward and the end of a very close race.

    Unless of course they have a chip in both shoes which would totally invalidate my problems with it. Are you suggesting I didn't read the article?

    • Re:Shoes? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Uatu (316549)
      If they had a chip in the shoe, it would be for tracking them in long runs, like the Marathon, or the 20 Km and 50 Km Race Walk.

      The rules say the torso is the body part that stops the clock and determines the winner, not the head, arms or LEGS, making it unusable to put them in the shoes. Maybe the front of the shoulder or in the number id for each athlete.

      And there's the issue of the scanning speed, also, as mentioned elsewhere.

  • Is a handheld drug-tester, that can develop results on the spot and uses a tiny blood sample. Using it directly before the start of every competition will be the only way to determine the real winners... not the high-speed cameras.

    (I realize that kind of technology is far away, but at this rate, we've got no choice but to continue to invest more and more money to catch these "athletes")
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What's the matter Timothy, can't get enough of all those guys in tights without technical assistance?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    touch pads used in swimming have been capable of going further than the "required" level. times are only used down to the hundredth of a second though technology has existed to measure down to the thousandth.

    once upon a time, events were measured down to the thousandth. in one race, 400 meter IM about 30 years ago i believe, the time separating the winner to the runner up was 0.003 seconds - about 3 millimeters. after that, it was argued that the variation in the flatness of the touch pad/pool wall would

  • by Rahga (13479) on Monday August 23, 2004 @07:35PM (#10051759) Homepage Journal
    "....cameras that take 1000 images per second."

    Yet they are looking at giving out All-Around Male Gymnastics double gold because Judged accidentally knocked a tenth of a point from the starting score of a gymnast.
  • FinishLynx (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pHatidic (163975) on Monday August 23, 2004 @07:39PM (#10051798)
    The coolest tech out there is definitely finishlynx. It takes pictures of who crosses the finish line only a pixel or two wide and stitches them together so you know exactly who crossed the line in what order and what their times were since the times are exactly proportional with the pics. In this pic of me in the men's lightweight single dash [boathouserow.org] I am finishing 3rd (Alex Krupp, lane 1). The reason I appear so bloated compared to everyone else is I put on a huge fucking sprint at the finish and even though I was a full boat length of open water down on 5th place with 100 meters left I managed to finish 3rd. Not bad for not eating shit or drinking much in 2 days to make weight. Anyway because I was going so much faster than everyone else at the finish I appear in the least number of pixel wide images, thus making me appear bloated and compressed compared to all the other boats. The reason all the oars are swirly is because they change positions from when the first part of the oar crosses the line to when the whole boat is passed, thus creating a cool real time motion blur.
    • The technology is not exlusive to FinishLynx: TimeTronics uses the same technology [timetronics.be].

      And as I explained in another post, the analog version of finish photo, giving about the same result, has been used for decades.
  • I'll admit that the Olympics have some pretty cool devices to measure speed and performance (as well as to detect who is cheating).

    I also have to wonder about why these devices are developed. I know that this is a sort of "If they can put a man on the moon why can't they..." type of arguement (but) why are people so willing to develop things for entertainment - and sports is entertainment (even the olympics) when there never seems to be enough money for developing technology that will help the poor or tre
  • joke (Score:2, Informative)

    by dougrun (633662)
    that article is so behind it's not funny.. here's the e-mail I sent the columnist..

    your article on Digital photofinish timing info is slighlty incorrect. Most FAT (fully automatic timing) systems used at anything above a college meet will do 2000 lines/sec like the camera I own. Thats not to say that they aren't using only 1000 of them, just not likely. Your timeline is off as well. 1992, true as listed In 1995, Lynx System developers had color cameras as you can see from thier newsletters: http://www.f
  • In walkers' shoes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Old Wolf (56093) on Monday August 23, 2004 @10:09PM (#10052760)
    It would be good to see these in the shoes of the "50km walk" participants, to detect cheating. TV cameras repeatedly show snapshots of people with both feet in the air (the regulations of the sport are that you must have 1 in contact with the ground at all times). I predict that if this technology came through, the race times would increase by 15%
  • by JimBobJoe (2758) <swiftheart@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Monday August 23, 2004 @10:26PM (#10052859)
    I find that the closeness of the swimming competitions--in that only machines can judge who is the second place person and the third place person, make the competition seem a bit on the irrelevant side. Am I the only person who wonders what the hell the difference is between a Gold and a Silver if there were only 1/100 difference in the competitor's performances?

  • including microchips on marathon runners' shoes, ultrasensitive touch pads in the pool, radar guns at the beach volleyball and cameras that take 1000 images per second

    It'd be nice if we could throw a little technology at improving the judging in gymnastics. The athletes deserve a lot more fairness than they got this year.

    Perhaps we should start by locating a guillotine on the podium, where it might serve as a constant reminder to the judges.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

Working...