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Omega introduces new timekeeping technology to European Athletic Championships

August 15, 2014

Omega's Scan’o’vision Myria photo finish camera Omega's Scan’o’vision Myria photo finish camera


Swiss watchmaker Omega is sponsoring the Zurich 2014 European Athletics Championships as the official timekeeper of the event.

The partnership with European Athletics began in 2008 and will continue until 2016. This year Omega added four new pieces of timekeeping equipment and is highlighting the new technology at the event, which is in the brand’s home country, on its social media channels to reach a greater audience range.


The four new pieces of equipment revealed for the Zurich European Athletics Championships include the Scan’o’vision Myria photo finish camera, false start detection system and two types of upgraded scoreboards.

Omega created a video about the timing of a 100m sprint race to demonstrate the new technology.

The video begins with the outlining of a stadium and zooms into the start line of the 100m race where the runner is at the starting block. The false start detection system and the electronic starting gun are on the side of the track.

Next the video pans in to the runner and explains the false start sensors that are in the block. These sensors measure reaction time and the system signals a false start if the equipment detects a reaction less than 100 milliseconds after the start.

The electronic starting gives the timing system a start pulse when the trigger is pressed.

The race begins as the runner approaches the finish line and the viewer is given an aerial view of the photo-finish camera, photo cells and the scoreboard.

Photocells stop the running time on TVs and scoreboards while the camera captures 10,000 images a second of the finish line and puts together the photo-finish picture.

A judge then determines the official times based on the image and results are distributed to scoreboards and TVs.

Omega timekeeping video

Omega is the sponsor of several sporting events, including the Olympics.

The Swiss watchmaker delved into its role as the Winter Olympics XXII’s official timekeeper with a multichannel effort that illustrated the mechanics behind its timing devices and celebrated the spirit of the games.

Omega served as the timekeeper of all events during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in addition to creating a 2,014-piece collection of watches to mark the occasion. The international buzz created by the Olympics introduced Omega to new audiences outside its primary markets and promoted its stance as an innovative watchmaker with global appeal (see story).