IoT Hits High Notes with Security Management for Large Venues

Artificial intelligence and biometrics are increasingly used to ensure the safety and security of the thousands of patrons, performers, athletes, and workers at large venues. From arrival to departure, machine learning will help event organizers maintain a safe, efficient experience.


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Australia’s Sydney Coliseum Theatre is a 2,000-seat entertainment venue located in West HQ, an entertainment and lifestyle district about 30 miles west of the Sydney Opera House. The theatre opened in 2019, and it hosts live concerts, dance, and comedy shows. It’s attached to a larger complex that includes dining, fitness, and hotel accommodations. When it’s not on COVID-19 lockdown, it’s a busy place.

Like all large venues, getting attendees in the door typically results in long lines. With heightened security concerns and then COVID-19 precautions, entry can be slow. The theatre operators wanted to ensure a safe, smooth entry process. It teamed with NEC to integrate IT, IoT, and security infrastructure throughout the theater and to install kiosks, which help to facilitate a safer, automated entry process that reduces wait times for attendees.


AI for IDs

Concertgoers check in at the kiosk by scanning a driver’s license or government-issued photo ID. The kiosks are integrated with NEC’s NeoFace facial recognition solution*, which uses a Web-based thin client technology, powered by Intel® Core™ processors. The technology compares the photo ID to the face of the customer in real-time, with 99 percent accuracy.

NeoFace identifies people using multiple techniques. The first is the matching face detection method, which collects and compares specific traits against a database of faces to find the corresponding match. The second is the perturbation space method, which morphs 2D photos into 3D images, thus enabling better accuracy, especially when heads aren’t directly facing the camera. A third, the adaptive regional blend matching method, adjusts for changes in expressions or the addition of hats or glasses.

People opt-in to the entry system when they purchase the event ticket. The technology is used in accordance with local federal laws and can provide protections for users; it also doesn’t maintain records of attendees. An added bonus is that NeoFace is touchless, so it reduces the potential spread of COVID-19.

The NeoFace technology has been deployed globally to verify access to buildings and venues and also to combat crime and fraud. NeoFace is one facet of NEC’s Bio-IDiom biometric authentication solution, which can verify users based on iris, fingerprint, palm print, finger vein, audio, and voice recognition.

Reading the Crowd

The biometric system market is expected to grow from $36.6 billion in 2020 to $68.6 billion by 2025. Some of that growth is driven by an increasing number of consumer electronic devices that require authentication, but security and surveillance are critical drivers as well. Biometric technologies are deployed in airports and cruise ships.

The adoption of sensors, machine learning and artificial intelligence technology is opening the door to broader-based crowd control and security. For example, Panasonic’s crowd forecasting system can help mitigate human traffic jams after large events when hundreds or thousands of people pour into the streets. Based on real-time data collected, the system can direct people to the best exit via mobile messages.

Another crowd monitoring solution comes from Japanese security company ALSOK, which has developed the Reborg-Z robot. The Reborg-Z autonomous AI-bots will roam a populated area and flag irregular behavior, identify suspicious packages, and detect vehicles in restricted areas. ALSOK robots also can be stationed in airports to assist travelers while providing security. They can translate multiple languages, provide directions, carry bags, and scan for suspicious or unattended baggage.

AI and biometric technologies can work together to help manage real-world crowd control, traffic flow, and security and safety concerns. 

*Note: Intel is committed to respecting human rights and avoiding complicity in human rights abuses. See Intel’s Global Human Rights Principles. Intel’s products and software are intended only to be used in applications that do not cause or contribute to a violation of an internationally recognized human right.


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