Keeping guests and employees safe is paramount for all venues. And while safety can’t be guaranteed, new tools are empowering facility operators to detect issues in real-time and implement solutions quickly. At the forefront of security innovation is facial recognition software. Several professional sports teams, including the English Premier League’s Manchester City Football Club have considered using the technology to grant access into their stadiums. The software under consideration by “Man City” and other companies, including entertainment giant Live Nation, recognizes faces in real time, allowing guests immediate access without the use of a ticket or an app. It also disallows access to those without a ticket and tracks every individual entering the facility.
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Another security innovation is rapid body scan technology that can check for unauthorized items without requiring guests to stop. Integrated systems that combine camera surveillance with data facial recognition software, digital turnstiles, and social sentiment analysis to gain a full picture of incidents as they are happening are also emerging.
How It Works:
The venue security system of the future will integrate a variety of technologies and data points to build a safer environment. To best describe how this environment is developed, we will walk you through a potential scenario.
When a guest registers to attend an event, whether by purchasing a ticket or paying a fee to be a part of the event, they are asked to take a selfie and submit it through a software system, potentially an event app. On game or tournament day, guests will arrive and walk through a monitoring station. Software will show an attendant a green sign indicating entrance can be granted or a yellow signed requiring the potential guest to provide additional information. A few things can trigger this response, including a lack of facial scan record or the presence of an unauthorized item, detectable by body scan software.
Assuming that entrance is granted, guest can attend the event or visit the concession, retail, or restroom areas as desired. Event apps help guests purchase items and helps operators track guest movement in a facility. It can tell security staff if people are congregating in a specific area. Social media analysis can determine if there’s any profoundly negative points of view are being shared and facial recognition data can pinpoint individuals and determine if they are in attendance while hi-def security cameras can determine their location in your facility. If they are in high density areas, security personnel and police officers can step in to prevent incidents from taking place.
Incidents like the brutal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan by rival Los Angeles Dodgers fans in 2011 and others have led to heightened concerns about the depth of security measures required to keep fans safe. These innovations make it easier for venue operators to reduce the likelihood of these incidents taking place. Whether its rival fans, inebriated concertgoers, or passionate AAU coaches, emotions run high during events. An integrated security system using these innovations can help prevent unfortunate incidents by ensuring that security employees are in the correct place when needed, guaranteeing a positive experience for all participants.
Obstacles To Entry:
Much of this section has centered of facial recognition software as it is the centerpiece of venue security innovations. It’s also controversial because many consumer advocacy groups view it as a breach of civil liberties. Thus, consumer adoption of this technology will be challenging. Logistically, adaption is also tough. People may not be willing to submit their photo, even as a condition of event entrance.
From an operational standpoint, the software is expensive and execution of the integrated system is involved. College and youth sports facilities may not have the manpower to execute it successfully. Those resources currently lie within professional sports team and major event staffs.
Security Technology In Action:
Considered the “world’s most famous arena”, Madison Square Garden reportedly used facial recognition software for several years. The software tracks the faces of each person entering the arena and can cross-check it with footage of current attendees for all its events. The software keeps the arena safe in an environment that hosts professional sports teams including the New York Knicks and Rangers and major events including the Grammys. MSG also sits atop the nation’s busiest rail terminal, Penn Station.