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Biometrics industry could face major opportunity with return of concerts and live sports

Biometrics industry could face major opportunity with return of concerts and live sports

Contactless fan experiences and limiting the physical interaction between attendees and venue employees will be a major focus for spectator sports, accelerating the adoption of biometrics and other technologies, Sports Travel reports.

The publication notes many of the technologies were on the market or in development before plans to implement them were accelerated by the pandemic. Contactless thermometers and the contactless fingerprint recognition capabilities of Idemia’s MorphoWave Compact, which was deployed for a soccer match late last year at Japan’s Level5 Stadium, are singled out as contenders for the reopening budgets of big venues. Fans used the system to enter the stadium without a physical ticket and also purchase concessions.

Idemia SVP of Public Security Donnie Scott tells Sports Travel that when people return to stadiums, they will find various technologies in use to maintain social distancing and reduce friction.

“A lot of sports teams and venues, whether concert or entertainment providers, pre-COVID they were focused on what happens to the fan once they get into the space,” Scott says. “With this technology, you can create an identity from the start so you know who the person is before they’re in the venue so you can give them a better experience once they’re there.”

Scott also touted the use of mobile digital identity credentials to control how much personal information is shared, such as during an age check. He also explained the decentralized model of biometrics use, which enables the company to provide credentials leveraging biometrics without storing biometric data.

Concerts and music festival promoters are likewise hard at work trying to adapt events to new conditions, Tappit CEO Jason Thomas writes for Ticket News.

Once crowded musical events resume, Thomas argues that contactless payments will be important for safe and enjoyable fan experiences. The devices and technologies that enable contactless payments, such as facial recognition, can serve other purposes too, from storing emergency contacts to blocking the purchase of age-restricted products by minors.

Thomas notes that while face recognition technology is not perfect, it is likely that it will improve.

Cashless biometric payment systems continue to be launched to trials at a steady pace. PeasyPay’s payment technology is being piloted in Guadalajara, Spain, with face and palm biometrics recognized by a POS device to replace the use of a card or mobile device.

The technology has been implemented by CI3 Foundation and EIT Digital in 14 stores, with plans to soon reach 25. The companies plan to launch the system worldwide next year, according to a Linkedin post.

PaybyFace, meanwhile, has signed up six Optica Vedere stores in Bucharest, deployed to a café in Sofia, Bulgaria in collaboration with the Visa Innovation Program and Raiffaisen Bank Bulgaria, and says it intends to build the largest facial recognition payment platform in the Central and Eastern European region by the end of 2020.

One or both of these systems, or any of their competitors, could be tempted into a new market area as live events resume.

In the meantime, some concerts and festivals have gone virtual, while others have been carried out as drive-in events.

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