Wireless person tracking innovation a success at Special Olympics

wireless person tracking
© iStock/typhoonski

A leading technology firm in Taiwan has announced its wireless person tracking technology proved both accurate and cost effective at the 2019 Special Olympics.

LITE-ON Technology, Taiwan’s first listed technology company, which featured in Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 Global Technology Leaders in 2018, focuses on optoelectronics and resource integration. Earlier this year it partnered with French Internet of Things (IoT) network operator Sigfox to create wireless person tracking devices to boost the safety and security of athletes attending the 2019 Special Olympic Games in Abu Dhabi.

The IoT-enabled wireless person tracking communication solutions developed by LITE-ON and Sigfox were produced to be around the same size as a small credit card and can perform double duty as name tags. The tracking devices, built to consume the bare minimum of power with a battery life of up to four months, pair with Sigfox’s 0G platform rather than relying on existing 3G or 4G data networks; communicating wirelessly via wifi access points up to a distance of 50 metres and Sigfox base stations up to 15 kilometres. In contrast to GPS-based person tracking solutions, the devices produced by LITE-ON and Sigfox work seamlessly indoors.

10,000 wireless person tracking devices were produced for Special Olympics athletes; in total the devices sent 4,255,620 messages throughout the duration of the games. Five athletes carrying the trackers became lost, but were found on average 20 minutes after raising alerts.

Sigfox Chief Adoption Officer Raouti Chehih said: “This is the first time the solution has been rolled out and its great success at the Games points towards the huge potential the technology has not only for larger sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics, but also for massive IoT applications such as asset tracking. We are thrilled to have been involved in providing a service that has helped to ensure the safety of the 10,000 attendees at the Special Olympic World Games and look forward to seeing how we can leverage this solution for future applications.”

This article was amended on 13 May 2019 to clarify that lost athletes were found within 20 minutes of raising alerts, not 20 milliseconds as previously reported.

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