Demonstrating the flexibility of LoRa technology to bring the benefits of the Internet of Things to virtually any outdoor setting, Kerlink and Tech4Race, an innovative sports-event tracking company, have deployed a LoRaWANTM network at an endurance-riding event in the Abu Dhabi desert: Al Ain Endurance Cup.
The customised small private network is a ground-based geolocation system that includes Kerlink WirnetTM stations for access to a LoRa IoT network, LoRa-enabled trackers developed by Tech4Race and worn by contestants, and a web interface that allows event organisers to track them through the course. The web interface also allows spectators to follow the race on their smartphones, including the location and status of specific runners.
LoRa technology, which operates on unlicensed ISM bands, makes these services possible, securely and without data interference from other networks. In addition, the narrowband technology optimises small data-rate transmissions, which typically extend battery life of devices for five to ten years.
With the Tech4Race system, event organisers simultaneously achieve different complementary objectives:
- Precise positioning enabled by the device assures that participants stay on the official route.
- Volunteers and medical and security teams can be coordinated to intervene in case of an emergency and to ensure the quality of the event.
- Spectators can follow participants’ progress in real time and won’t miss a checkpoint or convenient opportunity to encourage their favourite athletes.
Stéphane Dejean, Kerlink’s CMO, stated: “The innovation of Tech4Race’s solution, which can be installed at competitive events ranging from golf tournaments, riding and running events and swim meets in virtually any location, is exemplified by the miniaturisation of the trackers, the flexible business model that enables small private networks designed for unique events and the overall solution reliability.”
Fabien Letort, Tech4Race Co-Founder and Head of Product and Service Development, added: “In deployments where a GSM-based solution could be limited by white zones and network interference, the LoRa-based tracking system offers superior robustness and reliability. Kerlink helps us deliver this service by providing an agile, easy-to-deploy and to use architecture that fits perfectly with our need for quick-and-easy integration.”