Hit TV show tracks its £1m with RFID

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[asset_ref id=”1452″] Davina McCall presents “Million Pound Drop – Live!”

TV production company Cat and Mouse TV selected Harland Simon to supply RFID technology to track the real million pounds in cash through the game play of its live TV show “Million Pound Drop – Live!”

Previously the production team had to make use of several people backstage, manually counting the money which was dropped through trap doors, by watching live feeds from multiple cameras.

RFID was recommended as it can immediately and accurately identify the location of each bundle of cash without the need of human intervention.

Each trap door is fitted with a standard off the shelf epix RF Antenna as used for every day tracking situations like tracking pallets, tote boxes and preventing counterfeiting.  The data from this is feed to an Impinj RFID Reader for processing and passing on to software which presents data to be rendered on the screens used on set.

[asset_ref id=”1453″] The epix RF antenna

To track the 40 bundles of £25,000 which make up the initial million pound prize fund, a small low cost passive tag is implanted into each of the bundles of cash.  Then as the contestants place the money on each trap door the unique identifier is read and allocated to that drop door and the corresponding answer.

[asset_ref id=”1454″]A tape of passive RFID tags

The producer of the TV show said: “For the first six series of the show the Cat and Mouse system operator counted the money by eye using the mini cameras that are rigged around the drop.  At the end of each 60 seconds of decision time for the contestants Davina would (if requested by the production team) check the amounts by counting them physically before the correct answer was revealed.

“By tracking the bundles using RFID, Cat and Mouse have added features to their existing control and graphics systems on the show so that contestants can see instantly how much money they have placed on each drop.  This not only helps the contestants play the game, it helps Davina and makes the game a lot faster and even more engaging for the viewer at home.”

Harland Simon, which is exhibiting at Logistics Link South, develops supply chain systems such as its “warehouse insight” visibility tool for tracking assets in warehouses and hospitals.  The same RFID technology is also used for tracking production processes and inventory management to build lean production strategies and can help apply Six Sigma and lean manufacturing processes.

You can speak to Harland Simon at the Logistics Link South show on 21st to 22nd February.


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