iPhone sprintTimer – Photo Finish & Race Timing

sprintTimer – Introducing Photo Finish and Race Timing for iPhone


The sprintTimer 1.0 for iPhone 4 and 3Gs photo finish app employs the same techniques used in the Olympics. Simply start the timer and point the camera towards the finish line.  sprintTimer will build an image of narrow slices of the finish line, each representing 0.03 seconds in time. Users can then scroll along the photo to get the time when each competitor crossed the finish line with 0.01 s resolution. The app also includes a motion controlled lap timer.



Kaiser & Kaiser is pleased to introduce sprintTimer 1.0 for iPhone 4 and 3Gs, their timer and photo finish app that employs the same techniques as the professional equipment used at the Olympics. The user starts the timer and points the camera towards the finish line. sprintTimer will then build an image of narrow slices of the finish line, each representing 0.03 seconds in time. Users can then scroll along the photo to read the exact elapsed time for each competitor as they cross the finish line with a resolution of 0.01 s. The app also includes an automatic, motion controlled lap timer. Because it relies for its operation on a built-in video camera and a fast processor, the app is presently compatible only with iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPad 2, and iPod touch 4.

Operation of sprintTimer in the Photo Finish mode involves a simple setup procedure. The app functions in portrait orientation, and the user must first choose the direction of the race, moving across the screen from left to right or vice versa. Next, the user has three choices of how to start the camera: Motion, Manual, and Time. Motion starts the camera automatically upon detection of motion in a selected field of view. Manual permits the user to push a button to start the camera seconds before the race is won. And Time automatically starts the camera a predetermined number of seconds after the timer is started. The recording may be set to run for two, four, or six seconds. Longer record times would require more memory and processing power than the iPhone 4 currently offers.

An alignment guide allows placement of the camera centered over the finish line. Once still image recording starts, the camera takes a succession of pictures. Each picture is a small vertical slice of the entire frame, so that each picture is 100% tall but only 10% wide. The final horizontally scrollable image is a composite of many slices that together form a single, wide image. The width of each slice is user adjustable to obtain optimal results under varying conditions. The Mark button will insert a thin vertical line anywhere along the finished photo, so as the user scrolls horizontally, they may mark and display on a digital readout the exact finish time for each runner.

Since sprintTimer relies on a manual start, it cannot be used to set any official records. However, it offers far greater accuracy and versatility than the best digital stopwatch. All recordings may be saved or deleted. sprintTimer can be used for athletics, horse racing, greyhound racing, cycling, speed skating, car racing, rowing, etc.

sprintTimer has several advantages over a manual stopwatch:

  • One person can time several runners, cars, etc.
  • Higher accuracy than a stopwatch
  • Easier to determine the order of finishers
  • Gives the time difference between competitors with high accuracy
  • The image and the results can be saved
  • Can operate "hands free" when started

Video Demo On YouTube:

"sprintTimer will surprise coaches, athletes, and sports enthusiasts with its remarkable versatility.  Easy to setup and operate, its comparable to carrying a large, expensive photo finish camera in your pocket."

Owner, Sten Kaiser

Device Requirements:

  • iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (video camera equipped)
  • Compatible with iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPad 2, and iPod touch 4
  • iOS 4.0 or later
  • 0.5 MB

Pricing and Availability:

sprintTimer 1.0 is $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Sports category.  To purchase and download, visit the iTunes Store.

About Kaiser & Kaiser

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Kaiser & Kaiser is a small, independent software company founded in 1986 by Sten and Bo Kaiser. With a sole focus on OS X and iOS platforms, Kaiser & Kaiser’s aim is to develop innovative iPhone utilities. Copyright (C) 1986-2011 Sten Kaiser. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


  1. Jim Hiserman says

    How in the world do you focus on the finish line, hit a start button seconds before the finish and have the final time of each competitor recorded?

  2. Cov-God says

    I actually have this on my phone, found it a few weeks ago now.

    Its actually really good, you don’t need to exact focus on the finish as you can still move the phone/camera etc once you have started.

    However, and its a big however!!!!

    If you consider timing a longer event (5sec plus etc) be aware of your memory that is available, as it takes a pic every .003 sec thats a lot of pics and a lot of memory!!!!!!!!

    Plus its damn cheap lol

  3. says

    Some clarifications:
    - There is no limitation in the length of the race since it is not taking pictures all the time, only during the last 6 seconds. So a 4 min race doesn’t require more pictures or memory than a 10 s.
    -You don’t have to push any buttons at the finish since it is using motion detection to start the camera when the runners approach.

    • says

      To further clarify a year later: The maximum length of the photo finish is now 20 seconds. Which means that you can time middle distances as well.

  4. Cov-God says

    @sten Keiser

    Interesting as it seemed to eat my mem up big time.

    will check it out now in the street lol i personally think the app is superb.


  5. sprinter says

    this looks like it could be very handy,
    in races in the uk many are timed by hand timers, they’re all accurate to about a tenth of a second but placings are very hard to destinguish. with this simple bit of kit it would mean that one person would have to do the job of about 6 usually.

  6. Tarheelsprinter says

    It’s nice to see Jim Hiserman posting. This app looks amazing. I’ll 2nd the Android request, please!!!!

  7. says

    There is new version available. The main new feature is that you can use sound (e.g. from a start gun) to start the timer. The maximum recording time has also been increased and the memory requirement lowered.

  8. Walker says

    Hi, it is an amazing apps. I can do the job of timekeepers and position judges by the iphone instead of 24 helpers.
    Please consider to have an android version.

    • says

      Sorry to say, but there will not be an Android version any time soon. There is to much different hardware (cameras) to handle.

      However there will be a fairly substantial upgrade to the iOS version soon, including full support for the iPad.

    • says

      “Can I use this app to time myself doing sprints, say 150, 200?s ?”
      Sure. You can set it up to play “Ready”, “Set” and then a shot. It will start the timer at the shot and start the photo finish when you approach the goal.

      The only problem is how to hear the shot. Either you have a long cable to get a small speaker closer to you. Or you put a strong speaker at the finish. In the latter case you can set the distance in sprintTimer to compensate for traveling time of the sound.

  9. says

    Jimson, thanks for the review! The same company also has a pretty usefull app called “fitnessMeter” which tests a flying sprint, sprint & shuttle, vertical jump, repetitions (of things like sit-ups, push-ups, etc.), and a beep test.

    I’ve seen this sprint Timer and will have to pick this up too!

  10. Craig says

    We used it our last 2 track meets. We did find out that using 2 different iPads at the same time is better. Ever so often one would shut off after the start or we would get a message to shut down large apps like safari, even though the Sprint Timer app was the only one open.

    • Sten Kaiser says

      “Ever so often one would shut off after the start or we would get a message to shut down large apps like safari, even though the Sprint Timer app was the only one open.”

      This is definitely not normal. Mail me at sten@appmaker.se and we can see if I can help you out.

  11. Gil says

    Does anyone know where we can purchase the wireless mic to help the ipad detect the start gun? I saw somewhere that a coach was using a wireless mic for this option. Any suggestions?

    • Sten Kaiser says

      Wireless mics usually have a short range. A cheap walkie talkie is usually a better solution, cheaper and with better range (the sound quality is irrelevant).

      If you have a second iPhone/iPad you can use the new Start Sender function

  12. Sten says

    Yes, it is adapted for the iPad. In some respects it is even better on the iPad since the larger screen makes it easier to pick the right time.

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