Digital relay baton
Technology allows crowds to cheer on athletes from anywhere in the world.
A prototype digital relay baton has been developed by computer scientists at Lancaster University to allow friends, family and other interested viewers to offer encouragement to weary athletes undertaking challenging events – such as long-distance charity fund-raising runs. Sporty types, such as runners and cyclists, are used to digital fitness trackers and apps (such as Fitbit and Strava) that enable them to document their activities and allow them to share their exploits with others. However, so far they are predominantly used for performance analysis after the event. The digital baton, which is detailed in a research paper ‘Embedding a Crowd inside a Relay Baton: A Case Study in a Non-Competitive Sporting Activity’, which will be presented this summer at the ‘CHI17’ conference, contains sensors which broadcast information such as location, speed and distance data to a webpage, allowing people to follow the action on their phone, tablet or PC.