Attending sports events in stadiums is among one of the most enjoyable experiences of life. It is also a way to strengthen the bond with friends and family. However, people often avoid stadiums due to many hassles and unavoidable experiences they need to go through. From high prices of tickets to parking issues, attendees face many challenges before and during the game. The management staff and owners of stadiums have noticed the issues and begun upgrading their stadiums. In the era of everything becoming smart, stadiums are no exceptions. With the advent of the internet of things (IoT) and effective implementation to enhance overall experience, stadiums have been getting smarter day by day.
According to research firm Allied Market Research, the global smart stadium market is estimated to generate $22.10 billion by 2025. Many technologies have been installed in stadiums to improve the experience. People are now experiencing games in a totally different way. Following are some of the technologies implemented in smart stadiums.
The connectedness of crowd in smart stadiums will generate a huge amount of data for companies to collect and mine. As tens of thousands of fans in the stadiums log on to their devices, go for a drink, and cheer wholeheartedly for their teams, they generate an enormous amount of data related to behavior that companies can use for their benefits. The consumer behavior analytics can be a great tool to determine consumer intent, verification of places and event attendees, and categorize location signals. Machine learning algorithms can analyze fan behavior.
Gravy Analytics, a startup based in Virginia, has been developing a model that offers consumer behavior analytics for huge audiences. Its location data processing platform, AdmitOne, uses proprietary algorithms and machine learning to filter out location signals, categorize them, and identify place and event attendances along with consumer intent. Once fan behavior data is collected, stadium owners can offer food, drinks, and other necessary items along with merchandize and season tickets, streamlining the experience for the thousands of fans who attend their venues.
In the “always online” era, people need internet connectivity all the time. Not only connectivity but also high bandwidth so everything can be loaded fast. As some stadium are offering apps for finding parking spots, purchasing premium seat upgrades, check-in and locate seats, and order food and beverages that can be delivered to seats, improved bandwidth can accelerate these activities.
Moreover, attendees can watch instant replays of defining game moments in high-definition, close-up videos directly delivered to their mobile devices. Finally, they can obtain traffic information post match to reach their homes through the shortest route.
There should not be a situation in which people struggle with their apps because of poor bandwidth. From implementation of 4G LTE to 5G solutions, there should be secure, faster, and affordable network connectivity for people watching the event.
The evolution of IoT will make it easier to provide better bandwidth with which people enjoy the games with full connectivity. Cradlepoint, headquartered in Boise, Idaho, has raised funding of $162.8 million to enhance connectivity at smart stadiums and eliminate web exhaustion risks as multiple devices struggle to get a bit of bandwidth. Moreover, the firm will collaborate with other giants. It signed a deal with AT&T to offer Gigabit-Class LTE routers to make the impending 5G shift easier for early adopters.
Ease in payments
As people buy drinks, jerseys, scarves, and many other apparels related to their favorite teams and athletes, payments should be facilitated. There will be no need to carry cash, ID, and many cards. Sometimes, a card works from a bank, while others don’t. There may be issues regarding the machines used to swipe cards.
Zwipe, an Oslo-based company, offers biometric authentication technology for contactless payments and access control. Its fingerprint-activated payment card has been implemented in European banks. Soon, it will be implemented in stadiums. With ease in instant payments and secure transactions, smart stadiums should enable people to have convenience and rapid experience.
The implementation of authentication technologies such as biometric technology for contactless payments make the process of payments faster and more secure. The use of smart cards equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology can provide a convenient and secure payment experience.
Visitor screening solutions will improve the safety and security of smart stadiums. From explosives to firearms, it can detect things that can jeopardize the lives of people who want to enjoy the match and have a great time. With the help of facial recognition technology, it can also detect dangerous or most-wanted people or prime suspects who can cause chaos.
Evolv Technology, a Massachusetts-based tech firm, has been developing visitor screening solutions for detection of things that may cause threats to people. The tech firm tested its solutions at Gillette Stadium and Oakland International Airport.
As stadiums get smarter than before, they can enhance the experience of fans and help stadium owners and management offer value to thousands of fans who pay to attend their venues. The implementation of the right technology will entail a lot of benefits for offering exhilarating experience. As many technologies have been under development, it might take several years before some of these technologies become fully functional in stadiums.
As stadiums attempt to offer personalized experience, it will be difficult for stadium owners to offer unique experiences that are not possible elsewhere. With data collection and tracking, stadium management staff can take various measures to give an engaging and enjoyable experience to visitors. Moreover, fans can also stay connected during the games with reliable and secure devices and connections through Wi-Fi. Smart stadium owners need to find the right balance between the physical and digital experiences of the visitors while also staying abreast of the security and privacy requirements of an increasingly connected world.