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Speech Technology Center facial biometrics implemented at FC Zenit’s new home stadium



Speech Technology Center has launched its biometric facial identification system to FC Zenit’s home stadium Gazprom Arena to increase security and help to create a safe and comfortable fan environment, according to a company announcement.

Smart Tracker FRS was installed in late-February on turnstiles at the entrance to the first tier of the stadium’s D stand, “where the active fan sectors are located,” the announcement says. The implementation is the 14th deployment of the system to a sports facility.

FC Zenit Security Director Yuriy Fedotov claims the club was the first to use facial recognition at a sports stadium, with an implementation at Petrovskiy stadium in 2014, and Smart Tracker FRS is a proven successful solution.

The 2014 deployment was in response to illegal fan actions which resulted in games being played without spectators, and Fedotov refers to the public image and financial costs imposed by the security situation. Blacklists of banned fans can be more easily enforced, and fans attempting to enter with other people’s passes can be promptly identified.

Interestingly, FC Zenit has now been operating the system at both home and away games for the last six years, according to the announcement.

“FC Zenit is our strategic partner, and the Smart Tracker FRS operation at “Gazprom Arena” means a lot to us. It means more than just implementation, it is proof of our product’s effectiveness in long – term use by one of the most famous clubs in Europe. Since the first implementation of the system, our algorithms and the product as a whole have advanced significantly, and we continue to fine-tune them. In the future, it will be possible to apply our solutions not only locally, but nationally, which would serve the interests of both Russian and world sport,” comments Alex Markachev, head of product at Speech Technology Center.

Gazprom Arena is a retractable-roof stadium with a fan capacity of more than 64,000, and was officially inaugurated with an FC Zenit match in April, 2017.

The same technology was recently implemented at Moscow’s Central Stadium Dynamo (or VTB Arena).

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