For their work with FISH Technologies and RFID technology at the Aqua Zone, USA Swimming’s Olympic Trials “Aqua Zone” has been nominated for an honor as a part of the 2nd annual Event Technology Awards.
For those who didn’t have the pleasure of visiting USA Swimming’s Aqua Zone at the Olympic Trials in Omaha, it was an interactive explosion of brilliantly-employed technology that used Radio Fraquency ID chips to allow visitors to actively engage with USA Swimming and the various vendors that were there. Some of the more ingenious implementations included the ability to “check-in” and “like” certain products and sponsors on Facebook and other social media sites simply by the click of a tag, and the ability to race against their friends in their “swimulator” virtual swimming simulation, this technology definitely enhanced the fan experience in “the Zone”.
There are three finalists for the “Single Technology” award that will be handed out on November 13th in New York City at the annual Eventtech Conference. This conference specifically focuses on organizations that take social media technology off the web and integrates it with physical events and trade shows to increase both social experiences as well as business experiences at said events. That means these are not just spaced-out, tech-geek awards; they are designed to acknowledge the business side of the technology: something that is not always a given in these instances. Organizations nominate themselves for a small fee, and then a panel of judges selected the winners. For now, they’ve just announced their three finalists.
USA Swimming is up against some heavyweights: Facebook has also been named as a finalist for their work with Obscura Digital on their “Connections for Facebook” project at this year’s Facebook developer conference (read more here). The third finalist is Intel and their “Connect to Life experience” that was a 168-foot wide, interactive, 3D virtual life simulation. With over 30 billion triangles developed per second, the project is basically the world’s most intense and detailed virtual ecosystem (read more about it here).
The full list of awards and nominees can be seen here. USA Swimming is certainly among elite company: in addition to the two above, companies nominated in other categories include juggernauts Honda, General Motors, IBM, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Monster, Sprint-Nextel, Warner Bros., Cisco, and Nike.