From the Summer Olympics of 2012, the electronic starter pistols have been used to start the games officially.
A blank handgun used to signal the start of the race in athletics, swimming and other sports. It has also been used in big events and concerts. They are mechanical devices that explode the encased paper cap with a sound and a plume of smoke when a person pushes the trigger. In older days, whenever the start official triggered the gun, the sound was heard by the competitors at different times as the velocity of sound travels approximately 3 milliseconds per metre. Due to this, the competitors positioned near the pistol heard the sound earlier than others positioned at a distance. Nowadays, the starter pistols are linked with the starting blocks and microphone that transmits the sound to speakers, and all competitors may hear the sound at the same time. Hence, there will be fewer chances of the false start. To note the reaction time of each competitor, an advanced computer system is also linked with the gun and the starting blocks.
For deaf competitors, the gun triggers with light and the enclosed cap is exploded.
Whenever the electronic timing is used, the pistol is linked with a sensor so that when it is triggered, it conveys electric signals to the timing system.
When the trigger of the pistol is pulled, a sudden light flash indicates the trigger action and as the pistol is linked with electronic starting device, it stimulates the signal to the devices to record the starting time, and a recorded sound of a gunshot is played.