There are bracelets worn to support a cause—the Livestrong bracelets popularized by Lance Armstrong, for example—and there are bracelets that make a fashion statement. But the bracelets worn by some 4,000 bike riders who participated in the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge fundraiser last August had an entirely different purpose. The ID bracelets doubled as tracking devices and debit cards for the bike riders, who pedaled 192 miles from Sturbridge, Mass., to Provincetown on Cape Cod to raise money for cancer research and treatment. Using special scanners, Pan-Mass Challenge organizers were able to register participants and volunteers, track luggage and keep tabs on riders throughout the weekend by scanning their bracelets at specific locations en route. The scanners were provided by Symbol Technologies, which donated 41 of its MC50 Enterprise Digital Assistants for the event.
The bracelets also eliminated the need for riders to carry credit cards or identification documents to make purchases. But perhaps best of all, they allowed officials to record the exact moment the riders crossed the finish line, virtually eliminating any risk that a bracelet-less Rosie Ruiz would show up ahead of the pack in P-Town!