IoTwins project was presented during Sports Tomorrow

17th Nov 2020

The summary of the day 4 of the event as it was published on the Barça Innovation Hub website

Enrique Martín, Smart Project manager at FC Barcelona, has chaired a discussion on what the stadiums of the future will be like featuring Eduardo Martínez, of INDRA, Javier Lorente, of Telefónica, Miquel Gummà, CEO of Foot Analytics, and Fernando Cucchietti, from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center.

We must learn from the experience of the smart city and apply it to stadiums, says Martínez. Everything that we already know about the new cities can be perfectly extrapolated to football grounds. Both the general population and spectators in stadiums demand the same thing. Spectators want the digital services that they already have in their everyday lives so that they can make the most of their visit.

The key to innovation lies in coordination of the stadium with the elements of the city that surround it in order to manage it efficiently and to be able to control what happens inside through images, sensors and data analysis to manage the flows of people. The stadium of tomorrow needs, he concluded, smart access, parking, lighting, sound and waste management, as well as an exclusive payment system and premium services.

For Lorente, the most important thing is to start thinking omnichannel. In other words, appreciating that modern-day people have a dual presence – one in the physical realm and another in the digital, online one. Virtual spaces need to be treated with the same importance as physical ones. Other strategies should be aimed at increasing efficiency, reducing costs, improving the spectator experience and last, but not least, sharing knowledge. Every time that data is used and recorded, it generates even more data that will help to make management better still.


That is the only way to always be ready to innovate quickly if the circumstances so require, as has been made so clear by the outbreak of the pandemic. Crowds can no longer gather in stadiums so the club needs to reconsider what it can offer the fans, both those who usually come to the stadium and those who watch from home. Something similar might happen if the much-heralded Virtual Reality revolution happens and clubs have to adapt their range of services and broadcasts to new platforms.

A basic technology to control the flow of fans in a stadium is tracking via Wi-Fi. Miquel Gummà introduced his company as a start-up that provides solutions for the management of a physical space using statistics and data analysis. It is known that 70% of mobile phone users have Wi-Fi enabled and that alone can control both public transport and stadium usage.

Finally, Fernando Cucchietti spoke about supercomputing in sports venue management. A programme that is being developed with FC Barcelona involves ​building ​a digital twin of the Camp Nou. All of the information generated by the fans during their stadium experience is being entered into the twin. With months of data collected, the algorithms can discern different fan profiles and, depending on who the visiting team is, as well as weather and match forecasts, predict the behaviour of thousands of people. The goal is to have clear, unambiguous information about what fans will do before and after the game. And this can not only be used to guarantee fan safety and improve their experience, but also to make sure they make better use of commercial areas.


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