A glimpse into 2027… How are we going to experience sports in a smart stadium?
AI, NFTs, Drones, AR and Live Data, What are the top startups that are driving this change?
A glimpse into the future…
How are we going to experience sports in smart stadiums?
AI, NFTs, Drones, AR and Live Data, Which are the top startups that are driving this change?
Smart stadiums are warming up, don’t miss their kick-off
The fan experience in stadiums hasn’t changed much in the past few years, the queues are still long queues, the tickets are mostly paper tickets, there is a lack of exciting technologies for the young generation and the hot dogs are the same hot dogs (well, maybe the hot dogs can stay).
The point is that the world is moving on and the smart stadiums, with an $8 billion market size, are now realizing that improving their fan experience with innovative technologies has become a necessity for their growth and existence while competing with digital entertainment systems that are keeping the younger generations away from life experiences.
Great sports-tech startups mentioned in this article are rising in this exciting field and will change the entire way we experience live events today. from NFT ticketing to AI analyzing crowd emotions and AR glasses preventing live data,
Together with our partners and young innovative companies, we are curious to find out and brainstorm what the future holds for us sports fans in our favorite stadiums.
Here are some of our top insights and smart stadium innovations we will all experience in the near future…
- Autonomous Transportation:
Two major problems that sports stadiums are facing today are the traffic jams created prior to the games and the lack of parking spots during live events.
These problems can make the fans frustrated and sometimes even miss a few great moments of the games.
As autonomous vehicles are starting to take place we could definitely see autonomous shuttles arriving at stadiums in the near future.
AI Event Planning:
One more solution that will also be a key player for solving traffic problems is an AI event planning software company called OnePlan, that are being used to plan the 2022 FIFA world cup in Qatar. The innovative software company helps stadium managers plan their events all in one place using smart data and AI technology. One of the key features they have on their platform is a traffic management tool that stadium managers can use to deal with and plan these challenges ahead and even create a system for reserved parking spots before games.
With the big rise of NFTs and blockchain technology, one of the many benefits from this new technology in the sports tech industry is NFT digital tickets for sports events.
Keeping the sports ticket as a digital asset is an amazing revenue opportunity for sports teams and the best way of keeping the ticket a collectible for the sports fans. thanks to many NFT marketplaces, the fans can even have the opportunity to sell their NFT tickets after the event as collectibles.
Creating fast and secure access to stadiums is the main goal when looking at this sector in major events. Many technologies are facing an uphill battle when competing for this sector but the technology that stands out the most is the one that Pronto CX has implemented in the Miami Dolphins stadium.
Their technology offers the fan 4 different ways to access the stadium, through his mobile, smartwatch, smart bracelet, or smart season ticket card, when reaching the desk the ticket will automatically pop up on the fan’s device to save time looking for the ticket and the devices could also be used to purchase in-stadium merchandise.
Drone and Facial Recognition Security:
Next-generation access management for stadiums will involve ticketing and security systems developed on blockchains, as well as facial recognition and other novel identity technologies. Companies developing these technologies include Blink Identity, which uses facial recognition to identify people at walking speed upon entering a venue, and Evolv, which offers a security gate that can conduct rapid body scans of people without requiring them to stop.
FlightOp’s security drones would be used in and out of the stadium during the events for overall security and facial recognition.
Stadiums are increasingly connected via sensor networks, and in turn, generate vast amounts of data. That data can be analyzed and used to drive efficiency, convenience, and profits. Startups are primarily offering analytics products and services across the following areas: connected device data, fan behavior data, crowd sentiment data, and much more. Pumpjack Dataworks democratizes all of the stadium data into one place and makes it accessible and immediately useful for sports stadiums.
- AR Navigation and Fan engagement:
Creating an app that will help fans navigate in the stadium is a great idea but when it is connected with AR camera’s that makes it mind-blowing.
Imagine AR is working on creating AR navigation to make the in-stadium experience easy and interactive for fans. Using the Imagine AR app you will be able to view insights like player holograms, AR pre-match stats and even AR digital merchandise will be available in sports stadiums that we could all access through the cameras of our mobile phones.
- VR seats-.
One of the most interesting innovations that Illimitik has to offer is Virtual Reality seats in sports stadiums. With VR stadium seats fans could have full audio and visual experience of the game while sitting on their couch at home and sports teams could offer their global fans a VR seat to help expand their game-time revenues.
Second screen technology-
In reality, the seat experience will also improve, you could use second screen tablets that will be at your seats to order food, merchandise, share your expressions and thoughts about the game and even create automated photos and videos of you and your friends during the key moments of the game.
Imagine experiencing an entire sports event without needing to take photos or videos because the stadiums will do it for you, now that would be a game-changer.
GlassUp’s Smart AR glasses are now starting to enter the sports arenas, their image recognition feature would help you see the live and historical stats of any player you focus your glasses on during the game. Once these AR glasses are easily available to fans, every person attending the live event will become kind of a sports analyst,
apart from throwing vague predictions about what player would score next, GlassUP will help you foresee live stats & facts like how many goals has the player scored in knockout stages? Which player has created the most chances in the game so far?
The AR glasses will pop up any relevant personalized data you can enjoy during the game, this will create a great fan experience and help keep the fans fully focused on the game.
- 5G Broadcasting –
Thanks to 5G Broadcasting, sports stadiums could stream their events in a whole new way, the processing power of 5G will allow every fan to have his video streaming device where he could access an unlimited amount of data and streaming opportunities.
Stadiums can provide the fans with live streaming from pre-game changing room cameras, referee cameras during the game, and live drone views of the stadium.
In its bid for the 2022 World Cup, Japan proposed recording games with HD cameras to broadcast those games across the world live in a 3D display.
- Real-Time Player Insights:
Companies in this category are developing wearables to track player health activity metrics such as heart rate, body temperature, and player performance.
Athos makes smart performance apparel for tracking biometric data during physical activity. Hexoskin offers smart clothing for tracking cardio, respiratory data, and general physical activity monitoring.
Fans would be able to access corresponding mobile apps for a deeper glimpse into their favorite player’s live game diagnostics.
- Live Crypto-Betting:
Startups that could be involved in provisioning the underlying tech for live betting in stadiums include the blockchain-based betting app ZenSports, which provides their users with the option to place live betting predictions during events.
- E-sport Tournaments:
One of the best ways to attract younger generations is to bring Esport tournaments into the sports stadiums, doing this before big sports games is an amazing opportunity for sports teams, many startups are helping traditional stadiums adapt to the new reality of video game-focused live events. Esports Arena, for example, helps organizations run e-sports gaming events, operate tournament venues, and more.
Sports stadiums are back and Diego Maradona’s hologram tribute is just the beginning of the amazing technologies we will see in the near future.
so many new startups, innovations, and investors are now entering this exciting growth industry that at the end of the day, the main goal is to keep us all connected with our favorite teams and have a great time.
Our next article will talk about “The Future of Home Experience for Sports Fans” and we will introduce some exciting startups working in that field. Stay tuned.
Amir Raveh, President, and Founder of HYPE Sports & Innovation.
Thank you Yonatan Larkin for the great work, research, and data assembly.