The summer has started in the Northern hemisphere, and this means a plethora of outdoor events, starting from discussion clubs and ending with marathons, with a few festivals thrown in for good measure. This article focuses on sports events, a field which has gained spectacular popularity during the last years: seems like every week, there is a new running event, open workout or senior mobility workshop springing up in urban and rural communities.
When a lot of people participate in a sports event, especially if they can earn prizes for participation, they are identified by badges or competition numbers. In most large-scale events, it is mandatory to wear them for identification, performance assessment and sense of belonging. Now we have introduced a new purpose for competition numbers: people can find themselves in photos after the event.
Files.fm photo recognition technology allows searching the photos after the event to find yourself between thousands of other runners.
See an example here: files.fm/stirnubuks.lv — there are around 150 000 photos uploaded, and it would be impossible to search through all of them. If you write in a random four-digit participant number, you will see a specific runner when they start the race, how they look in a forest, how happy they are on the finish line and so on. It’s an invaluable tool for large events where the number of participants does not allow more specific categorization.
Some tips for successful use of this function:
- Use standard fonts without extraordinary elements for numbers — no fancy handwriting fonts or Gothic letters.
- Ensure contrast between the numbers and the background of the competition number. Best bet is white background and black letters.
- Competition number sheet often includes information about the event and its supporters. This does not disturb the number recognition algorithm, but we would suggest avoiding elements in the same colour as the numbers.
Participants can search and download the photos for free, while the event organizers need to pay a small fee for photo hosting and storage on Files.fm servers.
However, the technology also offers a possibility to earn money: if there have been private photo sessions during the event, the event organizer (or photographer) can sell the photos on the same Files.fm platform. The platform allows setting a price for each photo individually, which means that users can download some “basic” (e.g. start and finish line) photos for free but pay for more unusual photos taken during the distance or at a special photobooth at the event place.
The photos are easily accessible via link, which can be published anywhere on Internet, while the sales opportunity can even be integrated on your website: read more about it here.
What’s more — the machine-vision can “see” not only numbers but also names and brands. After the event is concluded, profile holders (event organizers) can receive statistics about how many people have viewed and downloaded the folder or file. More about the possibilities of our sports event platform can be found here.
Good luck organizing your next event! We are here to make it more comfortable, fun and attractive for participants.