Celebrating 25 Years of FinishLynx—A History of Lynx System Developers

Lynx System Developers—A Startup Story

By: Matt Bradley

Usain Bolt 9.72 World Record FinishLynx

Usain Bolt poses in front of Lynx equipment after running 9.72 at the 2008 Reebok Grand Prix.

March 24, 2017 – Lynx System Developers was officially incorporated on March 24, 1992 and today marks the company’s 25th anniversary. In 1992, the company’s flagship product—the FinishLynx timing system—became the first photo-finish camera to produce digital race results for track and field. 25 years later, FinishLynx is the most popular photo-finish results system in the world, with thousands of customers across 6 continents and 135 countries.

But long before Lynx System Developers became a world leader in fully automatic sports timing, it was a small startup company from Massachusetts looking to capitalize on a simple idea—that race results should be captured digitally. As a way to celebrate the company’s 25th birthday, we’ll be looking back at the early days, including the people, circumstances, and technology that helped it succeed.

The Old Way of Timing

For years, world-class events like the Olympics used film-based cameras to capture photo-finishes. These cameras were more accurate than hand-timing, but were notoriously expensive and cumbersome to operate. They could only record a short amount of time (mere seconds) before the film would run out, oftentimes before all the competitors even crossed the finish line. The sports timing industry survived for decades with film-based cameras, until a better solution came along. Read more

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