The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sports industry!
Nikias Klohr, CTO & Head of R&D at Race Result talks about the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sports industry and introduces a new passive RFID product for use in sporting events in an interview with RFID & Wireless IoT Global.
Today, Germany has released the new Corona-Warn-App. Will you use this app?
I checked out their website. I do think that I will install it, but I remain skeptical of it's use. We have been trying similar app concepts for 10 years in sports events. 60-70% of athletes install the app, however, 30-40% do not.
Such an app will not function properly if even 30% of participants are missing. The data collected is therefore not accurate since those who do not have the app have no way of being detected at the event. I am therefore curious if the Corona-Warn-App will work efficiently.
What's the current situation like at Race Result?
We are not in an economic slump, but we are certainly in very difficult times. In 2019, we supplied technology for 15,000 sports events. With thousands of sports events, June was always one of the busiest event months. This year, only 2-3 events are taking place.
In fact, similar to the culture sector, almost 100% of all sporting events are canceled. Our clients are under enormous pressure. We are currently using this time for refurbishment and product development.
What's the Current Situation in Sports?
There is nothing going on at the moment. The first events should take place in September or October. The sports sector is quite problematic because in professional sports, many teams are international. You could have the physiotherapist from Brazil, the athlete from Italy and the management from Sweden for example. Traveling together as a team would be impossible. Sports also thrives on spectators.
Currently, sports events with long tracks and staggered starting times still have the best chances of taking place. The sports sector has yet to discuss regulations with the corona test, with the exception of professional soccer. The tests of hundreds of athletes are probably too much of a hassle.
Brand New Product: The Passive Track Box
The new product that we are currently working on and planning to launch is the Passive Track Box. The name of the product is a play in words, on the one hand, 'Track' refers to the tracking of the athletes, on the other, it also refers to the track on which the athletes are running on.
The Passive Track Box is a brand new RFID reader that we developed ourselves. The objective is to collect more data along the event track by placing these readers at additional timing points along the track. This way, it is easy to find out what happens during the event, as well as after the event. The application itself is very simple. The Passive Track Box is particularly small, light, and only needs a small current.
You just need to attach it to the lanterns on the side of the track with magnets and the Track Box will detect the RFID chips of any athletes that run by. The data is then transferred via mobile network to the server. The Track Box also has GPS, so we know where each device is located. This allows us to generate information along the track.
A Positive Outlook
Many people are using the time they now have for sports. The sports industry is therefore on the rise. We hope that there will be an increased willingness to participate in sports competitions and events after the crisis. The subject of health and exercise is being propelled forward positively by the crisis.