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Old 2004.04.29, 01:26 PM   #1
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New lap counting technology - EPC?

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) also know as EPC - Electronic Product Code... which is supose to replace UPC(barcodes on products we buy)
Walmart is forcing the their top suppliers to switch to EPC by 2005. It basicly looks like a label with a small bump in the middle. The bump being a computer chip that has no power to it. But when scanned by a certain device, wakes up the chip and causes it to transmit a small block of data: ex. serial # or product ID. This EPC label is suppose to be getting cheap to make... like near pennies per label. With a scanner and PC and software, lap counting would be sweet.

Learn more at this link: keep clicking next page... lots of info.!OpenDocument

Here is a link to a company that sales this type of system for tracking marathon runner events. They tie the very small device in the shoe strings. And when they cross over a mat, a scanner reads the chip and post there laps, and position.
Speed must not be a problem, because they use it in bicycle races too.

So much technology available, its hard to believe that a inexpensive, reliable lap counting system in not already for sale. I mean think about this: for the price of some of the systems out there now, I could buy 10 nokia cell phones and strap them to the cars and then trianglate there position with GPS. lol.. just kidding.
But check the info above... very interesting

Another thing to think about, will this interfer with the radio signals?

So many DIY foam and RCP tracks and no laps being counted, so sad.

Last edited by Dragon40; 2004.04.29 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 2004.04.29, 01:32 PM   #2
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so sad... so true....

i've been reading about this new technology for awhile as it's causing some static regarding walmart suppliers etc, not to mention concerns for privacy etc.... imagine someone tracking your every movement from the tiny tag in you shirt etc.

seruoisly though, it's only a matter of time before someone realizes they can make some money making rc systems with it similar to the marathon/bike races

i wouldn't count on it being cheap though...they will no doubt take the competitors pricing point into their equation and price accordingly, not based on unit cost.
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Old 2004.04.29, 03:50 PM   #3
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Sounds good - maybe this may be a cheaper way of making homemade lapcounters. I think arch may be right about manufacturers pricing at near the competitors price. Unless of course our heroic RCP dude get on the scene and mass produces a cheap lap counting system Could be a stragtegic move on his part bundling the tracks and lap counters together. Just a thought.

I'm considering getting my brother (hes a dab hand with a soldering iron) to help me make the laser pointer lap counter as detailed on latencys site. It sounds about as cheap as you can get - especially since I've just bought a 2nd hand Dell laptop from work for 50. Wouldn't want to plug homemade devices into my Sony Vaio's serial port !

If anyone else has made a lap counter system (different to latencys system) then it would be interesting to know how - maybe they've posted on this site already. This forum is getting huge and newish people like myself find it difficult to find stuff. Well thats my excuse anyway. Maybe I'm too lazy to use the search tool ........

Good luck to one and all,


PS Just in case latency reads this - followed your threads and blogs re the RCX finals - bad luck you didn't get a podium place but it sounded a blast and good to hear you enjoyed it anyway. We Brits can only read and watch the videos with green eyes ..... Best of luck next year (and to anyone else who went from the forums - don't want to sound like a latency groupie )
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Old 2004.04.29, 11:01 PM   #4
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latency is quite the cool dude......

i am lazy compared...i just film my practice then watch it and manually use my computers lap counter to get my times....however times change quick and we will all soon have a cool lap counting system....
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