Digitalisation in the sports and event sector: What Flensburg and Wembley Stadium have in common.

London, Wembely Stadium. Seating rows with a total length of 54 kilometers. 688 snack and drink outlets. 47 fan shops. 2,618 toilets. 8 restaurants. The population of a large medium-sized German city such as Flensburg regularly moves through this mammoth building to experience a Three Lions international match, an Adele concert or another event live.

Logistical challenges for all involved

In Europe alone there are almost 80 sports stadiums with a capacity of more than 50,000 visitors, and the situation is likely to be similar in all of them for a major event. In most cases, the doors open 90 minutes before the start of the event. There is little time for 50,000+ people to relax and find their way to their booked seats, get a cool drink or stop by the fan shop.

Instead of relaxed anticipation, there is often stress and a hectic pace, which is a reason for quite a few people to avoid such events, even though they would like to visit. At the same time, it is essential for stadium operators to keep the capacity utilization of the events taking place as high as possible in order to operate profitably.

So, what can be done to reduce the negative stress, make the positive fan experience perfect and convince visitors to leave the comfort of their couch at home in favor of an on-site visit? As always, the magic word here is “digitalisation”, which – to put it bluntly – is used to slay any problem these days.

Indoor navigation via smartphone

And the starting point could not be simpler. Many arena operators and football clubs already provide their fans and visitors with iOS and Android smartphone apps that contain all the important information about the club or the venue. A so-called SDK (Software Development Kit) can be integrated into these apps with manageable effort, making indoor navigation via Bluetooth possible. The basis for this is an infrastructure of permanently installed Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons, which form the reference points for turn-by-turn navigation inside the stadium with an accuracy of around 3-5 meters.

Favendo is partner of the ArubaEdge Program

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, and Favendo have partnered in Advertising, Analytics & Mobile Applications to provide a reliable on-premises solution for RTLS on cruise ships.

Thanks to Favendo’s Real Time Location Services (RTLS), guests feel at home on board from the very first moment. Easy access to the cabin, easy navigation via app to one of the numerous restaurants, pools or shops or sharing one’s own location with family members or friends – all these services contribute to an outstanding guest experience. To enable positioning, indoor navigation/wayfinding and asset tracking on board wherever passengers roam, dine and play, cruise companies use real-time positioning services.

However, the challenge with traditional RTLS solutions is that they use cloud-based software as service applications (SaaS). At sea, this approach requires costly and often slow satellite connections leading to high latency. Cruise companies therefore rely on on-premises solutions for RTLS on board.

To meet this challenge, Aruba and Favendo have aligned their hardware and software. Aruba’s WLAN infrastructure can be deployed across ships, with integrated BLE transmitters providing the perfect solution for sending location data to Favendo clients without using battery-powered beacons. Aruba 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) access points can also collect BLE tags and badge location data for asset tracking applications.

The use of Aruba access points makes the use of special Favendo gateways almost redundant, simplifies implementation and significantly reduces costs. The access points securely transmit BLE device and location data to Favendo’s on-premises commander platform and Favendo’s mobile application. The result is a single network infrastructure for both communications and location services. More details here.

Favendo guides passengers to their destination at Germany’s largest international airport

Location-based services specialist Favendo has implemented a BLE sensor infrastructure in terminals one and two at Frankfurt Airport for FRAPORT AG. In addition, the company developed and provided the positioning and navigation software  for the Frankfurt Airport App.

With the help of the Frankfurt Airport App, over 60 million passengers and visitors to Germany’s largest commercial airport each year can now navigate comfortably and reliably through the terminals and to over 360 check-in counters. App users also benefit from additional location-based services such as information on arrivals and departures as well as shopping opportunities.

To positioning passengers and visitors, the complex Favendo software integrated into the APP combines and processes Beacon and GPS signals. The algorithm achieves maximum positioning accuracy with minimum hardware effort. At the request of the airport operator, a magnetic method was used for the first time to install the sensors, which is particularly substance-friendly and guarantees easy installation and residue-free removal. The Beacon Management System was completely integrated into the existing system and enables simple monitoring, configuration and maintenance of the 2000 beacons. In addition, the solution is multi-client capable and can therefore be opened for use by customers and partners.

Favendo CEO Arnaud Becuwe: “We are pleased to be able to make our contribution to FRAPORT’s digitisation strategy. The fact that we can prove the efficiency of our solution in an area as sensitive in terms of security and data protection as Frankfurt Airport, one of the most important aviation hubs in the world, makes us proud and shows the competence that we have acquired in complex environments.”

Together with STRÖER, Favendo has already realized Germany’s first nationwide beacon infrastructure and manages the location-based services solutions for 24 shopping centers of the British real estate and investment company Hammerson plc. In addition, the Bamberg-based company has already sent 11,000 beacons and 2,600 beacon controllers aboard five ships to the oceans for MSC Cruises.

Five ships, 11,000 beacons and unique expert knowledge

In spring 2017, the world’s largest private cruise company, MSC Cruises, presented the digital innovation program #MSCforMe at the ITB Berlin. For three years, MSC Cruises had been working with behavioral researchers, digital and technology experts to further focus on the needs of its guests using the latest consumer technology. Favendo is proud to be one of these experts as a specialist in indoor positioning and mobile positioning and navigation solutions. MSC Cruises chose Favendo technology to develop the indoor navigation system for its ships. Luca Pronzati, Superintendent of Fleet at MSC Cruises: „The Smart Ship is a breakthrough in customer service and value delivery in the cruise ship industry. Favendo is the technology provider behind this revolution and they deliver reliably end-to-end.”

A core element of the #MSCforMe programme, which has been implemented on five ships already in autumn 2018, is the ability for guests to display their own position or the position of accompanying children on mobile devices. The first ever implemented kids tracking on a cruise ship worldwide comes from Favendo.

In addition, the solution enables stress-free navigation on the ship. All passengers’ comfort is considerably improved, personnel – and other Guests seeking rest – are relieved of the search for lost little adventurers and can concentrate on their core tasks. Insights gained into guests` behavior, habits and preferences through the sensor infrastructure are visualized as statistical key figures to optimize on-board operation.

In order to achieve exact positioning, GPS or other satellite navigation systems are used in the open air. Indoors, GPS loses its function due to architectural requirements. This is all the more true inside the floating steel giants with their numerous decks and their challenging combination of space-saving and very open architecture. We use the experience we have gained during the implementation of our solution elements in the hulls to continuously improve our software. Therefore, the latest version of our SDK allows an even more variable configuration of the integral BeaconScanning, which results in combination with the also refined RSSI filters, in a more accurate position determination in open architectures with floor changes. A complete revision of the Data Loading Module results in a massive improvement of […]

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