RFID Chips Make Appearance at 2011 NYC Marathon
On Sunday, the New York Marathon will feature over 35000 athletes who will try to complete the 26.2 mile course that is not only physically grueling, but mentally taxing as well. Over 2 million spectators will line the course, many of which will hold up signs with messages of support, as their loved ones pass by. This year’s event is taking the support of the runners to a new level via the use of RFID chips and social media sites. Footwear maker, ASICS, will provide all runners with RFID tags that can be attached to their shoes though their “Support Your Marathoner” program. Throughout the 26.2 miles ASICS has set up 3 large LED screens, which will provide messages of support to the runners. As the runner’s RFID tag passes past readers at certain points along the race, personal messages uploaded by their family and friends will show up on the screens. Facebook as well as other social networking sites were used in addition to the program’s website in order to gather as many messages as possible.
In this digital age GPS technology has frequently been used to track and provide real time information as to the position of marathoners through the race. The utilization of RFID chips is not only making that extra mile for a marathoner more bearable but it provides a great example of how the evolution of this technology continues to touch our everyday lives.