The Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam is known for its technical innovation and has now announced that it will employ smart camera technology to enhance fan experience, optimize venue operations and increase visitor security.
Home to AFC Ajax and the Dutch national soccer side, the arena has partnered with smart camera platform provider Security & Safety Things, which is a subsidiary of Bosch, to integrate a series of IoT based smart surveillance cameras to improve visitor flow, manage occupancy, optimize parking and provide business intelligence that can help ensure health and safety measures, and enhance operational efficiencies.
Using specialized, Artificial Intelligence-enabled video analytic applications from the S&ST Application Store that run directly on each camera, each device will provide the ArenA with valuable operational insights. When the stadium reopens, crowd detection analytics will monitor social distancing compliance and visitor flow around entrances and food or merchandise kiosks. License plate recognition cameras will assist with real time occupancy monitoring for parking and traffic flow optimization. Queue detection applications can be employed to reduce visitor wait times by directing fans to less busy areas and by providing the insights required to optimize staffing levels at peak times. In one specific area, a camera also provides the ability for visitors to provide feedback about their stadium experience in an anonymous and contact-free way by detecting the visual of a “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down” from a visitor, collecting only the rating without disrupting people flow.
“The flexibility of our smart camera platform and the ArenA’s mission of innovation are very well matched to produce the intelligence necessary to address real world issues of privacy, health and safety but also new and creative ideas for stadium and event management,” said Hartmut Schaper, chief executive officer, Security & Safety Things. “We’re honored to be joining the ArenA as an innovation partner and to help them provide a seamless and safe visitor experience.”
The camera system and how it is used complies with all European and Dutch privacy regulations. Furthermore, there are various advantages to this camera system, when it comes to privacy. These cameras are equipped with powerful processors that analyze the images directly on the camera, reducing the need for a constant video stream to be passed on to a central location, where it can be monitored or further processed. Instead, the cameras can be configured to send only the information about relevant events such as when a long queue is forming, groups of people gather too closely, or individuals are not wearing face coverings as required. Only then will respective images be passed along. This reduces the processing of visitors’ personal information to an absolute minimum as opposed to a traditional set-up where all footage is transmitted and centrally processed at all times.
“Every technology selected for our innovation environment is strategic because of the potential benefits not only to our ArenA, but to the City of Amsterdam and other stadiums and large event venues seeking technological solutions to help to re-open safely and operate their facility more intelligently,” said Sander van Stiphout, Director International, Johan Cruijff ArenA. “The unique flexibility of the Security & Safety Things approach enables us to simultaneously deploy COVID-19 health and safety analytics along with business optimization tools and easily re-equip the cameras with other analytic applications as our needs change.”