How IoT video tech can improve venue safety and efficiency

Sports and entertainment venues can better manage occupancy, wait times, and health concerns with IoT video intelligence solutions

by The AT&T Business Editorial Team

As businesses continue to adapt to working in a COVID-impacted market, the stadium and arena industry is re-assessing operations. With such a significant reliance on large gatherings, sports and entertainment venues need to consider every opportunity to help create a safe environment for attendees, employees, players, and performers.

These measures can be an adjustment for both people and business operations as a whole. Many venues are investing in technology solutions like Internet of Things (IoT) video intelligence to help them adapt to this “new normal.”

How video technology in sports and entertainment can help create a safer environment

Stadiums and venues have long used surveillance systems to monitor for safety and security. But advancements in video technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and IoT are creating opportunities that empower leaders to do more with video footage.

These advancements have led to an emerging field we call “IoT video intelligence.” As the name implies, “video intelligence” is the process of applying AI and machine learning to video footage to monitor, automate, and perform functions that help businesses drive efficiencies or otherwise carry out tasks that the human eye can’t handle. This process minimizes the need for human intervention. These systems can be optimized to analyze large amounts of video data on a near real-time basis. 

Integrated technology like AT&T IoT Video Intelligence is designed for monitoring and analyzing people, assets, and property. It can provide situational awareness and reporting from new or existing video cameras, and deliver alerts to help businesses make faster, more informed decisions. Sports and entertainment venues can use IoT video intelligence to enforce occupancy guidelines, manage queues, and more, helping with increased safety concerns and precautions.

  • Monitor occupancy – IoT video intelligence can give camera feeds the ability to count and monitor the number of people going in and out of a specific location. Cameras mounted at the entrances and exits of a venue can provide near-real-time occupancy count in a facility, helping venues better adhere to occupancy and social distancing guidelines.
  • Manage queue count and distancing – Food and beverage service stations can often be high-volume areas with many people near each other. An IoT video intelligence system can enable your cameras to monitor these areas while sending out alerts on queue count and estimated wait times. Visitors can use these alerts to make better judgments about when they want to head to the concession stand, minimizing the number of people at these stations.
  • Check employee and visitor body temperatures – One preventative measure a venue can take is stopping persons with elevated body temperatures from entering their facility. An IoT video intelligence system can be equipped with thermal analytics to scan the body temperature of staff and personnel. This enables facilities to run checks as visitors arrive at entry points. 

In the pursuit of maximizing efficiencies and adhering to COVID-related safety precautions, venues are accelerating digital transformation through IoT video intelligence. And while these kinds of solutions create new opportunities, the amount of data processing required for many video intelligence solutions can exceed networking architecture.

There is a solution to this problem, and it lies in edge computing.

Edge computing: the video intelligence enabler

Edge computing helps bring computing power closer to the edge of your wireless network (on location) to process data in near real-time. How does that help sports and entertainment venues with their IoT video intelligence solutions? Let’s explore how edge computing fits into one of the use cases we mentioned above.

Imagine you manage a stadium that uses wireless video cameras to monitor the occupancy of the facility. This high-resolution video data travels over a public network from the facility to a provider’s core facility or a remote server location for processing. This traditional architecture often does not supply the bandwidth needed for the transmission of these video feeds.

But with an edge computing solution like AT&T Multi-Access Edge Computing (AT&T MEC), a new path is formed that effectively cuts the distance the video data has to travel while separating it from other traffic on the cellular network. AT&T MEC brings the AT&T core network directly to your facility’s premises. In the camera’s case, its data is directed to the on-location server for processing—rather than sent down the traditional path.

Now the IoT video intelligence solution can receive and act on locally processed, low-latency data. Edge computing enables processing power closer to the venue’s network location and shortens the path for mission-critical data. IoT video intelligence solutions and devices can now operate with ultra-low latency and higher efficiency.

Where to begin building your video intelligence framework

Whether you are building a system from scratch or looking to augment your existing video and camera setup, the first step is aligning yourself with a trusted technology provider. Ideally, you want a provider that can supply the IoT video intelligence tools and applications and design and implement the network required to support those tools. Make sure you have access to professional resources and consultation services that can help address the specific needs of your venue.

The world of IoT and video technology can be key to adapting to a post-COVID market. It’s important that venues find the right guidance and support in adopting these innovative solutions.

For more information on emerging technology solutions, check out our Smart Stadiums.