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Lauren Heath-Jones takes a look at the latest technology and innovation currently making waves across the world of sport

by Lauren Heath-Jones, Leisure Media | Published in Sports Management 2019 issue 3

Panasonic’s facial recognition system ensures safety and maximises efficiency, says Gerard Figols
Gerard Figols is head of European security business at Panasonic

Brøndby Stadium, home of Danish Superliga football club Brøndby IF, has partnered with Panasonic to become one of the first stadiums in Denmark to use facial recognition technology to ensure safer stadium experiences.

The technology is designed to enhance security measures and fan safety, whilst also alleviating the strain placed on stadium staff during high profile matches. Panasonic secutiy cameras and FacePRO recognition software will automatically identify any ‘blacklisted’ individuals and prevent them from entering the stadium by sending an alert to staff to take the appropriate action.

To maintain personal privacy, the technology does not store the images or data of individuals not registered on the stadium’s blacklist, while the data of those who are is registered on an internal server that does not connect to the internet of any other system.

“Panasonic’s facial recognition system contributes to a safer stadium environment by alleviating security pressure on the ground, while ensuring that all data is protected from unauthorised external access,” says Gerard Figols, head of European security business at Panasonic.

Sport-kit keyword: PANASONIC

Panasonic’s technology will identify blacklisted individuals
Airofit trains vital lung capacity for better athletic performance, says Christian Tullberg Poulsen

Airofit, a Denmark-based perfomance equipment company, has developed a respiratory trainer that it claims can boost athletic performance by up to eight per cent.

Also called Airofit, the trainer combines a breathing apparatus with an app that enables users to track their training and progress.

The breathing trainer, which users hold in their mouths via a mouthguard, measures breathing volume, strength and patterns during exercise. Users can then access this data via the app.

It is designed to enable users to manually adjust the resistance to their required physical needs or preference, while the app offers a range of customisable breathing exercises, each offering different benefits to the user, enabling the user to choose the intensity and duration of their training. The company claims that with regular use the Airofit trainer can increase lung capacity, improve respiratory strength, boost anaerobic tolerance and enable athletes to perform at a higher level for longer.

In addition it can improve breathing control, reduce stress, decrease recovery times and boost circulation.

Airofit CEO Christian Tullberg Poulsen says: “With Airofit, we’re bringing better breathing to the world.”

Sport-kit keyword: AIROFIT

The Airofit device allows users to access their breathing data via an app
Sport Social meets high demand for smart speaker sports content, says Sophie Hind
Sophie Hind is managing director of Voiceworks

Voiceworks, a UK-based voice consultancy, has developed a smart speaker content service called Sport Social, which will offer premium audio content covering the Premier League.

Available on Amazon Alexa and Google Home speakers, as well as other smart speaker platforms, Sport Social is one of the first ‘human-voiced’ apps to offer daily, up-to-date football news during Premier League season.

Football fans across the world will be able to access premium digital audio content, including short daily updates specific to their club, team line-ups, post match reviews for every game and daily podcasts covering the latest news from the Premiership.

Led by Sophie Hind, who previously served as regional strategy director for media and entertainment group Global, Voiceworks is a full-service consultancy covering all aspects of audio, including voice tech, AI, voice search, audio content and creative audio branding.

The company, which launched at the beginning of July, has already establishined ongoing partnerships with AWS Consulting Partner and Alexa Voice agency - Cation Consulting.

Hind says: “We know from conversations with Amazon and Google that there are high volumes of voice search queries around sport and particularly Premier League football so the demand for content is there.”

“This is just the start, we have a roadmap in place to deliver a range of different sports content through our Sport Social brand. We now have the infrastructure in place from a technical and audio point of view to deliver branded sport content not just via Sport Social but also for our client partners and events.”

Sport-kit keyword: VOICEWORKS

Sport Social is one of the first ‘human-voiced’ apps to offer football news
ADI screens deliver ‘a great visual experience’ at Watford FC, says Scott Duxbury
Scott Duxbury, CEO of Watford Football Club

ADI, a UK-based stadium display technology provider, has installed two 80sq m screens at Vicarage Road, home of Watford Football Club, to transform the fans’ visual experience in time for the 2019/20 Premier League season.

The ‘superwide’ screens, positioned at either end of the stadium, offer fans a clear view of the action, as well as providing a better perspective of the match. Their superwide format means that they can deliver live video alongside score info, sponsor branding and match stats, creating a multifunctional display that enhances the match experience for fans whilst creating a powerful platform for existing and potential sponsors.

In addition to manufacturing the screens, ADI was responsible for installing the screens, which involved lifting the screens over the stadium roof using specialist equipment.

Scott Duxbury, chairman and CEO of Watford Football Club, says: “ADI’s new giant screens are a great way to help kick off our new Premier League season. We continue to make a number of improvements to the stadium infrastructure here at Vicarage Road, and this innovative solution means that we can continue to deliver a great visual experience to our supporters.”

Geraint Williams, CEO of ADI, says: “This has been a major construction and engineering project, but also one of the most rewarding projects we’ve delivered.

Sport-kit keyword : ADI

The screens deliver live video alongside score info and branding
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