Sigfox Teams with iWire, LITE-ON and the Special Olympics for Athlete Safety

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The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games were held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates March 14-21. It was a multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities created in the spirit of the Special Olympics movement – a global campaign of people creating a new world of inclusion and community, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability.

The safety of over 10,000 athletes and delegates in attendance at this year’s games were at the height of significance. To achieve the highest level of security, the Special Olympics organization teamed up with Sigfox, the world’s leading Internet of Things (IoT) service provider, which worked in conjunction with iWire Connect LLC and LITE-ON Technology Corporation to create a simple tracking device able to deliver continuous and reliable protection at all times with the use of Sigfox’s 0G network infrastructure.

“With the Special Olympics World Games hosted in the UAE this year, we had the unique opportunity to provide energy efficient connectivity for the 10,000 people connected at the event – maximizing their safety and delivering on the region’s sustainability vision, thanks to our global network coverage,” said Ahmed Fasih Akhtar, Founder, Vice-Chairman and CEO of iWire Connect LLC, Sigfox Operator in the UAE.

In addition to its tracking capability, the device incorporated a simple button that allows its owner to send his location automatically by regularly transmitting messages, including the closest Wi-Fi MAC address, to help locate the athlete or delegate if he became lost or got into any emergency situation. The MAC addresses are converted into coordinates based on Sigfox Atlas Wi-Fi services. This feature was first used after the opening ceremonies, allowing one team to quickly be reunited with a lost athlete.

This result has led to Sigfox announcing its partnership with iWire and LIGHT-ON on a successful rollout of an optional tracking solution, which incorporates Sigfox’s connectivity and Wi-Fi in a small, credit card-like device. LITE-ON developed and delivered all 10,000 devices, which ran on Sigfox’s 0G network, in less than three months. The device includes batteries that provide up to four months of charge, providing reliable service even when used continuously.

“We’re proud to have created a simple yet innovative monitoring device that truly puts safety at the heart of technology,” said Shilung Chiang, President of Mechanical Competence Business Group and Steven Wu, BU Head from Smart Life and Applications Business Group, LITE-ON Technology.  “From tracker design to Wi-Fi and Sigfox communication modules design, the time in which we were able to deliver on the project illustrates the potential of the technology and the industrial expertise of LITE-ON synergy across its business portfolio.”

“This is the first time the solution has been rolled out and its great success at the Games points towards the huge potential the technology has, not only for larger sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics, but also for massive IoT applications such as asset tracking,” added Raouti Chehih, Chief Adoption Officer at Sigfox. “We are thrilled to have been involved in providing a service that has helped to ensure the safety of the 10,000 attendees at the Special Olympic World Games and look forward to seeing how we can leverage this solution for future applications.”

On the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics movement, the Games featured 200 nations, more than 7,000 athletes and 20,000 registered volunteers, and thousands of spectators, making the event the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world.


Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Erik Linask

Special Correspondent

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