Tag team technology
Tony di Bartolo used to employed to research various products to help with inventory tracking and job shop production control. That's when he first started thinking about using the new technology for agility. Then one day while he was working, he came across an idea which made him think, 'Hey, wouldn't it be great if you could use this in agility?'
One of the things that caught his imagination was an item called an Radio Frequency Identification or RFID. It is similar to the inventory security tags that are hidden in many retail packages to help prevent theft from stores.
RFID tags are miniscule microchips, which already have shrunk to half the size of a grain of sand. They listen for a radio query and respond by transmitting their unique ID code. Most RFID tags have no batteries. They use the power from the initial radio signal to transmit their response.
The premise behind these devices is that they trigger a security circuit when they pass between the scanners at the exit door of the store. There are many more types of RFIDs than just these simple devices. They are available both as an active or a passive device.
Now a little background.
does RFID technology work?
The reader transmits a low-power radio signal, through its antenna, that the tag receives via it's own antenna to power an integrated circuit (chip). Using the energy it gets from the signal when it enters the radio field, the tag will briefly converse with the reader for verification and the exchange of data. Once the data is read, it can be sent to a controlling computer for processing and management.
Whatís the typical read range for RFID devices?
These products are available as self-adhesive paper strips tags that can be hung on a key chain, implantable biochips and wristbands. The readers are compliant with all current networking protocols.
An idea is born
Why not place a self-adhesive strip unique to each dog on the fur on top of the head or onto a flat collar. It would first identify the dog to the computer and then time the dog's run using reader poles as the start and stop lines.
Another one of my ideas is a virtual reality glove that the judge would wear to signal faults to the computer direct, thus eliminating the scribe altogether. The system would ID the dog and its jump height, start timing its run, gather the information on faults, print out two copies of the scribe sheet and store electronically all of the completed runs for sending on to the governing venue. At the same time, it would sort qualifying runs and placements for the various height categories. Undoubtedly it would speed up trials by not requiring run orders but only height changes, make the posting of results and award of ribbons almost immediate and cut down the need for just about anyone other than ring crew and judges.
Also there are light poles that have red, yellow, green or blue lights that could be used to signal the competitor to start the run.
Paying the price