To have instant scores appear in venue on the scoreboards, on television, and over the internet is a dream come true for the Archery World. New technology has enabled us to determine the value of an arrow shot in real time. This weekend, in Tokyo, the engineering team of Falco-Eye was able to accomplish this for the first time at the World Cup Final!
Targets at practice: the two in the middle have the Falco-Eye system
Our goal is to keep enhancing Archery and make it more exciting for our fans, the media and the athletes. World Archery is delighted to have launched two new features at the World Cup Final in Tokyo which will continue next season. Our first new feature allowed the TV viewers to see the heart rate of the athletes during the competition. By looking at their heart rate levels go up and down the audience was able to determine if the athlete was nervous or relaxed: please see our other story here. The second addition was the automatic scoring done by optical scanning lasers.
The engineering team of Falco-Eye, in Hungary, has spent several years developing a system that is fast and accurate to the millimetres. The science was tested in Tokyo. The technology was used during the World Cup Final for the first time at an archery event in tandem with the traditional scoring made by the spotter and the judges. In Tokyo, the judge still had the final say. For how long?
There were challenges for automatic scoring system. The impacts of an arrow on the target are not consistent, but go “through” the surface of the target. Because of this, sensors below the surface were not a possibility because the arrows would break them. Secondly, the arrows “stay” on the target. The arrows can be very close to each another and can strike others. The other possibility is an arrow may hide another one depending on the point of view. The system must be completely accurate to the millimetres to identify if one arrow “touches” the thin scoring ring (and therefore gets the higher value). Lastly, to use this system in a competition like a World Cup Final, the system must be fast (about 1 second) to quickly give the score “live” to the audience on site and around the world.
The Falco-Eye engineering team in collaboration with World Archery, has overcome these challenges. They were proud to present the first Falco-Eye Archery Automatic Scoring System in Tokyo. Mr Mihaly GARAS chief engineer of the Falco-Eye team said: “I am very happy that the system has been able to be used in this competition. We have been waiting for this for a long time and despite the special conditions and challenges in Japan, like low (110V) and different electricity, very heavy rain, the system proved to work well. So we are very satisfied. We would like to thank World Archery for the possibility to use the system. And of course, a big thank you to my team!” Here are more information about Falco-Eye here.
The system has many advantages for a competition:
- It ensures an automatic transmission of an arrow value AND exact position to all kind of devices, hence facilitating the fans experience in the venue, on TV or on the Internet, arrow after arrow.
- It automatically defines if an arrow touches a (higher) scoring ring.
- It automatically defines the distance to the centre, hence who would win a shoot-off.
Soon, the system will be made available to any archer or club, which would not only enhance regional competitions, but also help the athletes and coaches with accurate and easy-to-compile shooting statistics.
With the heart rate TV graphics and the automatic scoring, World Archery, helped with these engineering teams, is taking giant steps into the future!
World Archery Communication