Verizon and Cisco will use 5G at the edge to make venues better and safer as fans begin to return.
COVID-19 halted the physical events industry. As venues begin to reopen, major changes will be necessary to ensure visitors are safe including things such as contactless physical access, crowd management, and seamless payments.
The partners’ solution will be powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband with mobile edge computing (MEC) capabilities.
Aamir Hussain, SVP Chief Product Officer for Verizon Business, said:
“While all sports and entertainment fans are looking forward to the day they can get back to their favourite venues, many are understandably nervous about their safety in large crowds. This solution will help put minds at ease so fans can re-enter venues with the knowledge that strong steps are being taken to safeguard their wellbeing.
This is one of the many 5G-enabled experiences powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband that is changing the in-person fan experience in dozens of stadiums.”
Cisco’s DNA Spaces will be integrated for secure location analytics. This will enable things such as the estimation of wait times at check-in, restroom, and concession lines.
Interfaces with digital signs around the venue and fans’ mobile apps will help to direct visitors to alternative locations with shorter lines to both improve their experience and help maintain social distancing.
Jonathan Davidson, SVP of the Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group at Cisco, commented:
“Our combined expertise and technology innovation is furthering the evolution of 5G, creating a dynamic offering for the industry that will redefine stadium sports and entertainment for the future.
With the power of 5G and MEC solutions, we can bring cloud-powered services closer to the edge for more flexible development of applications, helping venues to deliver new experiences better, faster, and with more clarity and precision.”
Earlier this year, Verizon partnered with the NFL to offer live viewing parties and augmented reality stats and replay features for all the fans who cannot visit their local stadium and don’t want to risk the health of their loved ones by visiting their homes.
While COVID-19 is speeding up the adoption of such technologies out of necessity, the improvements they bring will continue long after the pandemic is eventually over.
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