There are three methods of chip timing: (1) use of an overhead structure (2) use of mats (3) side antennas. Orbiter was first to innovate and patent side antenna technology. Here is a review:
These patents are not pending, and thus not subject to question. The Orbiter operates uniquely because each system is autonomous from the other, yet the communicate with each other such that they complement each other in a powerful way. This means that more than one detector operates tighter with others as one, or separately depending on the need. Additionally, Orbiter uses Epoch Time Method (day, month, year) rather than Time Differential Method(local time zone Start / Finish) ensuring a history of tag detects over weeks and months may be gained easily. This also allows timing events concurrently all around the world.
In addition, Orbiter tags are physically different. For example, Our Triathlon wrist tag may be read at the same distance turned vertically to the reader as facing the reader making a robust read the same as battery powered tags even though our tag is passive.