Our HR has hired the services of RunRio since two sportsfest races last year. This year, we are honored to be Rio's guinea pigs for probably THE next thing in automated race timing: paper-disposable timing chips which I'll refer to hereon as "paper-chip" if you so kindly allow.
The paper-chip is popular in most races abroad. The pic above shows Meb Keflezighi using one (the red tape-like thing on his shoelace) during the NYC marathon last year wherein he finished first.
the paper-chip and championchip side by side
From my rough estimates, the paper-chip measures 8-9 inches long and 1-inch wide. The illustrated instructions are easily indicated on the paper-chip, instructing the runner to put the paper-chip on his shoelaces, similar to the ChampionChip. The paper-chip is secured using sticky-tape that forms part of it, similar to those bag tags used when we check-in our baggages in airports. We were informed though not to fold/crumple the paper-chip to probably prevent the circuitry from being damaged.
If you put it against a light source you'll see that the printed circuit board (PCB) is intricately embedded within the strip. I'm guessing that this will use RF technology as well so *probably* the same sensor mats used in RunRio/FinishLine races will be employed.
I'll let you know how it goes when I get to use it this Saturday. Initially, I'm hoping that this will push the registration fees of future races down since it seems to cost less compared to it's plastic ChampionChip counterpart. But (I hope I'm wrong) the bottom of the strip indicated the manufacturer http://www.rotas.com/ is based in Italy, reg-fees might increase due to importation/customs cost. But I'm just guessing here. Let's just see how it goes in future races. Probably we'll see this introduced formally in RunRio3 in November (or even earlier).
Well, there's about 47 people running 15kms on Saturday's race so I'm hoping to finish at the top half. Wish me luck on my FIRST 15km race!
Yup, I'm about to be devirginized in the 15km event come Saturday morning, hehehe.