Novel horse tag races into China
This article has been taken from The Gen Newsletter - Autumn 2007.
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TurfTrax, world-leader in racehorse tracking, monitoring and data, has agreed a deal with Sagentia’s design and manufacture operation in Hong Kong, SGAI, to upgrade and manufacture the high-tech RF tag which updates the position – and, by calculation, the speed and other data – of a horse during a race in real-time.
Sagentia technologists came up with a new approach to advanced tracking and positioning of a moving object a few years ago. By licensing the technology, Sagentia and TurfTrax created a real-time system for measuring the speed and position of horses during a race – a world first.
Due to the complexity and demanding nature of the product, SGAI performed an in-depth feasibility study to mitigate any risk. Dr Tim Moore, CEO of SGAI, comments: ‘The challenge of creating a high-value, high-tech and complex product that needs to be tough, light and extremely accurate meant a thorough feasibility study was imperative. Hong Kong and China are associated, wrongly, with high-volume, low-value design and manufacture. This product helps to prove that Hong Kong can deliver skill, expertise and quality high-value products’.
SGAI built a full working prototype which went through a rigorous three-month intensive testing programme of soak testing, vibration testing, drop-testing and environmental testing. Following a satisfactory outcome, TurfTrax awarded the contract to SGAI to upgrade and manufacture the tags from its base in Fotan, Hong Kong. Adam Mills, Founder and Executive Chairman of TurfTrax, comments: ‘The team was rigorous in approach, and during development also spotted an opportunity to improve the design, which means we not only get a higher quality product but one that is significantly cheaper than our existing equipment’.
TurfTrax’s product has enabled a whole host of opportunities for trainers, punters, media and the racing and betting industries, and the company is continuing to develop a portfolio of products using this core system. The technology provides real-time data to enhance terrestrial and satellite on-screen products and has been used in association with Channel 4 since 2004.