Florida citizens used RFID technology to verify attempt to form the world’s largest human awareness ribbon.


With the Big Pink Ribbon event, Floridians sought to build community awareness for cancer in a memorable and highly visual way.


Florida cancer survivor and activist Chris Hazelwood and a committee of corporate sponsors and cancer survivors held a Big Pink Ribbon event in Polk City, Florida, to try and set a new Guinness World Record. Could RFID technology document something extraordinary in the making, providing participants with instant feedback on whether they succeeded in their record-setting quest?


On the day of the event, thousands of individuals wearing pink t-shirts and lanyards gathered at the site to be counted by team captains with check sheets, volunteers equipped with clickers and automated RFID technology. The University of South Florida (USF) Polytechnic, SMARTRAC and Borda Technology used RFID readers, UHF tags and custom software to uniquely identify each individual and provide a 100% accurate, real-time count of the total number of participants. The RFID solution included:


  • Participant lanyards with Belt™ UHF RFID tags, chosen for their small form factor and exceptional performance
  • An entrance RFID reader portal with four downward-pointing antennas to count participants
  • A PC with a custom asset-tracking solution designed by USF Polytechnic and Borda Technology


Unfortunately, the Big Pink Ribbon team’s effort wasn’t world-class, although 2,334 individuals did gather to show their support. However, it’s still clear that when it comes to counting crowds, RFID technology proves that it pays to think big.