…by Anura Guruge
Keene needs automated counting & LED Tea Lights
To Break Record. Period.
Having now participated in most aspects of the Keene Pumpkin Festival (and given my 40 years in high tech) I know what we have to do IF we are going to break Guinness Book record next year — which we appeared to have missed by about 1,500 this year.
We need to exploit TECHNOLOGY to ensure that we get a more accurate count, with an ONGOING count tally on a BIG display at all times.
How do we do that … with Radio Frequency identification (RFID) — think of it as barcode scanning at the supermarket, but at longer distances. The barcode tag emits a signal that can be remotely read.
And we need LED tea lights. I am a sucker for real candles, but you have to be pragmatic. I gather the official counters ONLY count lit lanterns and too many of the candles get blown out before the count.
So, how much is the technology going to cost?
$2 per pumpkin.
32,000 pumpkins, $64,000.
That is NOT much.
Multiple ways to raise that. Though not disclosed, I have to assume that HGTV had to pay something for the rights to record the event. That alone could cover the $64,000.
Discover Card was there. They most likely would pat half that for some advertising. I am sure that if they asked Keen Rotary they would have ponied up $10,000. My druthers is that money is not an issue based on what I saw.
We were registering pumpkins on sheets of paper. That is a joke. It should be all computerized so that there is a running tally at all times. At 5pm we should have known exactly how many pumpkins were there. RFID would provide that.
So, that is my recommendation. IF Keene really wants to beak this record, it has to invest in the technology. Yes, I will help implement it.