The Headingley sports complex in Leeds, England is to hand out smart wristbands to supporters in a move that will potentially allow stadium staff to detect any untoward behaviour.
UK newspaper The Times reports that fans will be issued with high-tech “fight sensors” upon entering the complex, which includes a rugby stadium and a cricket ground.
Global Positioning System technology will be used to help detect areas of violent activity, while security officials will be able to inspect a heat map that will be produced using data gathered by the wristbands.
The Times notes that the scheme forms part of a Europe-wide initiative to investigate how technology can be used to improve security operations at events. The three-year, €15m (£12.8m/$15.9m) project will involve 28 institutions across the continent.
Kingston University in London is set to ask cricket and rugby fans to wear the wristbands to support its research into how venues can benefit from technology-based security solutions.
Paolo Remagnino of the university’s Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing division, told The Times: “As part of the project we will be looking at how wearable devices – such as smart wristbands that could be worn by concert-goers – could connect to a system. That would tell you how many people are in specific places and, if there was a disturbance, you could quickly establish where it was taking place.”
The use of drones to monitor crowd activity will also be explored, while other institutions will consider using noise-cancelling technology to reduce the impact of noise pollution on people living close to venues.
“The bigger the event the more potential issues you have in terms (of) ensuring the safety of those attending,” Remagnino added. “We want to help develop a way of bringing these technologies together.”