Mímirbox is a portable self-contained, wireless, programmable, full RGB colour, ultra-bright LED display. It is designed to be used in applications where there is little or no infrastructure. The initial target market is sports events at temporary venues, or venues that don't have good power reticulation or communications. A specific example is go-kart race tracks where there is a requirement to show signals to drivers on the track. Traditionally this was done with fabric flags on sticks but it is becoming harder to find increasingly reluctant volunteers willing to stand out in the weather at a lonely flag point all day. Mímirbox solves that problem by replacing people with electronic displays. This improves safety because it gets people out of harms way and improves the quality of signalling. The Mímirbox displays can be located where it would be too dangerous to place flag marshals.
The displays can show practically anything including still images, videos, scrolling text, animations, flashing and dynamically updated images/text. Wireless communications is via a mesh network. For kart track applications the maximum range between displays is about 100m. Alternative radio modules can be fitted with a range of up to 20km between displays. If LTE modules are fitted the range is only limited by mobile coverage. The displays can be powered from the mains (if available) or by self-contained LiFePO4 batteries. The endurance depends on the battery size installed. For go-kart racing the selected battery will run the display full-on for 3 hours in 18 hours. The enclosure will house batteries big enough to run the display full-on for 10 hours in 48hours. If that is not enough, an external battery can be connected.
The enclosure is a custom made to be waterproof, durable, stackable, easy to mount and dismount. All of the switches and connectors are recessed to prevent them being knocked off with handling. Everything is contained within the enclosure.
With Mímirbox, the signals can be centrally controlled or control can be distributed to anyone with access to the network with any device that can run Google Chrome. There is no software to install and the controlling device can be a mobile phone, touch screen tablet, PC with any operating system (Apple, Linux, Windows, Android). The network can include the Internet. At present I have Mímirbox systems in New Zealand that are accessed by developers in Australia, the Philippines and the UK. Developers are currently integrating the Mímirbox signalling system with an existing and independent timing system. This will allow one click race control. Once the starter has clicked to start the race, the combined timing and signalling system will initiate the start lights, count laps, show the last-lap and finally the checkered flag all without human intervention. Race incidents will be managed by exception. Automating the race timing and control will both reduce the number of race officials and the work load of the few left.
It is one product with many applications. It is particularly suited to temporary or off-road venues that require something that is easy to deploy and recover. Applications could include:
- marathons, ironman, enduro
- advertising food/beverage
- crowd control
- electronic pit board with live feed from the timing system (currently in development)
- messages from supporters to competitors on the track
- parc-ferme control