IPFW Students Develop New Technology for Speed Skaters

By Emily Dwire
By Rachel Martin

June 9, 2013 Updated Jun 9, 2013 at 6:47 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – Speed skaters are now able to get a more accurate reading of their lap times through a student invention.

The IPFW Senior Computer Engineering class teamed up with local speed skaters and built a radio frequency identification timing system.

Here’s how it works: each racer wears a chip that can be read by the "reader,” so every time the racer crosses the start and finish line, the system picks up their times and stores them automatically.

Project coordinator Nicholas Balcolm says the big advantage of this technology is that every racer knows exactly how well they're doing in terms of lap times.

"They can look back on how they did a week, two, three weeks ago and see how they've improved for this practice compared to the past. And, then they can make realistic goals as to what they're future lap times are going to be,” Balcolm said.

Balcolm says lap times are crucial to speed skaters because their times determine if they qualify for national competitions.

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