Sigfox provides athlete and delegate tracking at Special Olympics
A Sigfox network in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) provided optional tracking for 10,000 athletes and delegates at the Special Olympics World Games 2019 at the end of March.
The Special Olympics World Games claims to be the world’s largest humanitarian sporting event. Organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it is an international sports competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
The Abu Dhabi event featured 200 nations, 7,000 athletes, 20,000 volunteers, and hundreds of thousands of spectators.
UAE Sigfox operator iWire Connect partnered with LITE-ON Technology to combine low-power wide-area and Wi-Fi connectivity in a simple device resembling a credit card, which could be worn by competitors and delegates to keep them connected.
In less than three months, LITE-ON was able to develop, produce, certify and deliver 10,000 Sigfox devices, fitted with batteries providing up to four months of charge.
Devices worn by those opting into the scheme transmitted messages including the closest Wi-Fi MAC addresses to help identify the location of athletes and delegates in the event a person became lost.
These MAC addresses were converted into coordinates based on Sigfox Atlas Wi-Fi services. Integrating a button, the devices were also able to send an alert if a person were to find themselves in an emergency situation or in need of assistance, immediately triggering the tracking mode to get help to the scene.
Shilung Chiang, president of mechanical competence at LITE-ON, said: “We’re proud to have created a simple yet innovative monitoring device that truly puts safety at the heart of technology. From tracker design to Wi-Fi and Sigfox communication modules design, the time in which we were able to deliver on the project illustrates the potential of the technology and the industrial expertise of LITE-ON synergy across its business portfolio.”
Ahmed Fasih Akhtar, founder and chief at Sigfox operator iWire, said: “With the Special Olympics World Games hosted in the UAE this year, we had the unique opportunity to provide energy efficient connectivity for the 10,000 people connected at the event – maximizing their safety and delivering on the region’s sustainability vision, thanks to our global network coverage.”
Raouti Chehih, chief adoption officer at Sigfox, 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.”