On the edge: Verizon, Cisco to track crowds at stadiums, concerts with 5G in joint anti-COVID effort

Sputnik news agency and radio 14:57 GMT 07.10.2020

 

The companies said the new measures would allow people to return to "in-person, large crowd entertainment" such as stadiums and entertainment venues amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, using several key emerging technologies.

 

Verizon Business and Cisco announced on Wednesday plans to launch 5G monitoring and tracking solutions at sporting events, it was revealed.

 

The solutions will combine Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband with mobile edge computing (MEC) systems with Cisco's Sports and Entertainment portfolio, which includes secure location analytics software Cisco DNA Spaces, switching and data centre technology as well as connected venue analytics, among others.

 

According to Verizon, the solutions will help estimate and reduce waiting times at check-in, restroom and concession stand queues, as well as track crowd density and flows via digital signage to enforce social distancing.

 

“While all sports and entertainment fans are looking forward to the day they can get back to their favorite venues, many are understandably nervous about their safety in large crowds. This solution will help put minds at ease so fans can re-enter venues with the knowledge that strong steps are being taken to safeguard their wellbeing," Aamir Hussain, SVP Chief Product Officer for Verizon Business said in a statement.

 

5G and MEC solutions would help bring cloud-powered services "closer to the edge" to help venues "deliver new experiences better, faster and with more clarity and precision," Jonathan Davidson, senior vice-president and general manager of Cisco's Mass-scale Infrastructure Group said.

 

The announcement comes months after a Lancet study found surveillance and contact tracing technologies were "vital" in the fight against COVID-19, citing measures taken in Shenzhen and Wuhan at the height of the pandemic.

 

Chinese authorities quickly contained the pandemic with strict lockdown measures along with QR codes containing contact tracing records via drones, augmented reality helmets and entry systems, among others, reports found.

 

Huawei technologies revealed it would boost efforts to develop artificial intelligence, cloud computing, 5G and Internet of Things technologies to speed up economic recovery amid the pandemic, adding emerging sectors such as telemedicine, remote working and education as well as boosting network connectivity, among others, would facilitate such growth.