US tech firms go into safe stadia overdrive



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WaitTime and Cisco partnership Image: WaitTime

As sports organizers and administrations mull ways to provide the safest of experiences for spectators in stadiums in a COVID-struck world, hi-tech firms have gone into overdrive to provide smart solutions to buttress social distancing, face coverings and temperature testing rigmarole to enable fans to enter venues once again.

One such firm in this ever-increasing list is the Detroit (US)-based technology firm WaitTime. WaitTime recently announced its collaboration with Cisco in Silicon Valley (California) to support the reopening of large-scale events and sports facilities amid the COVID-19 whiplash in the United States.

WaitTime’s patent-pending crowd-science technology provides real-time information on fan traffic to major entertainment and sports venues. WaitTime gives stadium operations access to information on crowd movement, line length and line attrition, allowing them to proactively respond to the needs of fans where they are.

Cisco Systems Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in San Jose, California, in the center of Silicon Valley. Cisco develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, software, telecommunications equipment and other high-technology services and products.

‘dbusiness’ sources reported that the companies had stated the pandemic had forced major sports organizations, large public venues and other industries to re-evaluate crowd management strategies in light of new rules and regulations surrounding social distancing, as well as in the greater interest of the health and safety of their guests.

The 48,000-capacity Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia, the 20,000- seat multipurpose T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, US, and the 68,500- capacity state-of-the-art Levi’s Stadium at Santa Clara in San Francisco, US, have all employed WaitTime’s technology in partnership with Cisco.

COVID-19 has augmented the value of WaitTime because accurate crowd intelligence is more mandatory than ever,” said Zachary Klima, CEO, WaitTime.

WaitTime has spent the entirety of the pandemic adding new algorithms, expanding integrations and, most importantly, defining and structuring partnerships with world-leading companies such as Cisco,” Klima added.

As the world gradually tries to come out of the pandemic with vaccine rollout on in full swing in several parts of the globe, WaitTime and Cisco stated that they were in the running to make a global impact together in many industries as a result of ongoing deployments and collaborative innovations.

“Teaming up with WaitTime to help our sports and entertainment venue customers reopen their doors safely is just one of the many exciting things we can accomplish together,” Bryan Bedford, Head of Sports Partner GTM at Cisco, remarked.

“Through continued innovation in our technologies, we look forward to providing safer, more engaging and immersive fan experiences with WaitTime,” Bedford added.

Globally renowned for its patented crowd intelligence software for crowd management in entertainment venues, WaitTime uses artificial intelligence to scope venues and leverage the real time operations of a company.

‘Dbusiness’ added that the solution seamlessly integrates with Cisco’s technologies (hardware and software) to provide venues with real-time information about crowd capacity, movement and social distancing necessary for venues to reopen.

The ‘WaitTime’ reported that by mounting sensors at vantage points and with the help of AI interpretations, the company provides venues, visitors and fans access to information on crowds, social distancing, line lengths, and queues at bathrooms, concessions and merchandise stands, often via smartphones and devices.

The ‘WaitTime’ report added that the information helps decrease crowd congestion resulting in increased visitor safety and venue efficiency.

Recently, Johan Cruijff ArenA, the largest stadium in the Netherlands located in its capital City Amsterdam, tied up with Germany’s Munich-based firm, Security & Safety Things GmBH, to improve health and safety aspects of visitors to the arena through an innovative use of surveillance cameras and smart technology so that fans could re-enter the venue safely.

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