Sunday, January 04, 2009

Running Marathons and High-Powered WiFi, Best Friends

Michael and I were discussing the Pensacola Marathon that we are helping to measure via calibrated bicycle. The race is scheduled for Feb. 15, 2009 at 6:30 AM. One problem for races is the slow process of data entry and availability of scoring and timing and upload of photos and videos. So, I turned to Brough Turner's Next Wave Redux Internet Telephony magazine column post, NextGen WIFI and Wireless Disruption.

"Now 802.11y defines how new high-powered WiFi devices can operate in the US in the 3650-3700 MHz band (at ranges up to 5 km!)."

My husband and I immediately discuss why marathons and high-powered WiFi should be best friends, and I want to share that conversation with you.

Traditionally, scoring and timing of a marathon is done this way. Place the computer system in a van or trailer and data is entered offline. More recently, some race results are being uploaded near real time, but again the server is in the van or trailer itself, subject to damage and loss and elements in the open and on the drive to the race site.

If a race or even just some of the splits are situated within the 5Km range of the WiFI, think of the opportunities! Leverage of GPS. Real-time upload of scoring, timing, photos, videos and more. And... with something as cool and tiny as a PDA, Asus Netbook Eee or HP Mini-Note, or even a cell phone.

You're right, Brough. It's a game-changer.

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