When I was in high school, a friend of mine made the Junior Olympics in épée. I remember going to her practices, watching the strange combination of grace and awkwardness that arose from the wires that stretched out from the back of the fencers to permit electronic scoring. My friend loathed them. Being tied to the wires converted an inherently balletic sport into something far more mechanical. When I tuned into the Olympic épée matches the other night, the first thing that struck me was that the wires are gone—courtesy of RF.
Wireless technology is remaking our world—my 86-year-old mother has a Wi-Fi hub in her house and takes it as a given that she can print from any room she likes. Wireless technology is also remaking sports. In tae kwon do, for example, scoring unit from Truescore integrates sensors with chips from Texas Instruments to convert foot-to-torso contact to a point on the scoreboard. The system uses a microprocessor to handle the data and a Zigbee transceiver to send the signal.
That's not the only place wireless is making an appearance in sports these days. At the London games, the organizers use wireless-enabled scales to weigh athletes in the various martial arts sports.
What other types of tasks you think wireless can perform in this kind of a sports venue?