Smart Stadium Project will enable Croke Park to become a test bed for technologies that will be used in helping develop smarter cities
Over 70 companies converged on Croke Park last week to learn how they could use the stadium as a test bed to trial smart technologies, and ultimately develop them for use in a Smart City context. Test beds provide the infrastructure required to test technology in development, which is a much needed resource. Croke Park is the ideal venue for this as it behaves as a microcosm of a Smart City, experiencing many of the challenges faced by cities today such as traffic management, crowd safety and movement, pressure on mobile networks and on retail services to deal with the demands of large numbers of consumers.
Pictured are Martin Curley, Intel; Arizona University President Michael Crow; Intel Internet of Things Group VP Philip Moynagh; DCU President Prof Brian MacCraith; Uachtaran Chumann Luthchleas Aogan O’Fearghail and Ard Stiurthoir Paraic Duffy
The industry forum event facilitated collaborations for multinationals, indigenous start-ups and entrepreneurs, and allowed companies to understand how the stadium could be used as a stepping stone to launch their product or service to market.
The project brings researchers at Dublin City University and Arizona State University together with Croke Park Stadium and Intel Corporation in a unique initiative to co-develop technologies that will enable cities to function smarter. Their work aims to embed data from the growing network of technology-enabled everyday devices, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), into a city’s infrastructure, making it more responsive to citizens and their need to work, rest and play “smarter”.
IoT is a rapidly growing area in computing and connectivity, and will provide a whole range of exciting possibilities around the general concept of smarter living environments. By allowing technology in development to be trialled within the stadium, academic researchers and both large and small companies will be able to reduce this development constraint that currently hinders the translation of IoT innovations out of labs and into real-life deployments.
The global value of the IoT sector is predicted to exceed £25 billion a year by 2020 with an expectation that 4.9 billion devices will be connected in 2015 rising to 25 billion by 2025. One of the most significant barriers identified to the development of the IoT industry is the lack of test beds to trial new technologies for wide-scale deployment. As part of this transatlantic collaboration, two test beds have been created simultaneously at Croke Park Stadium and Sun Devil Stadium in Arizona to test the capabilities of IoT technologies in these unique environments.
Professor Noel O’Connor, Director of DCU’s Information Technology and Digital Society Research & Enterprise Hub explained, “The next 5-10 years will see exponential growth in the burgeoning IoT sector and we have an opportunity to lead Ireland’s test bed facility with Croke Park and Intel in order to bridge the research to market gap. Ireland is rich in high potential startups and SMEs that can both get value and bring value to the Smart Stadium concept which will draw on multi-disciplinary expertise in Irish universities to focus on problem-solving on a national scale.”
Current projects focus on enriching the stadium and fan experience by monitoring pitch quality and stadium microclimate, analysing athlete’s performance, predicting traffic to and from the stadium and developing apps that indicate queueing times at refreshment and convenience facilities.
Intel’s end-to-end IoT portfolio, including Intel® IoT gateways based on the Irish designed and produced Intel® Quark™ processor, is being used to facilitate the research and pilot deployments. Successful application of the technologies in the stadium, as a city in miniature, will create a platform for further innovations in smart living, sustainability and smart cities.
“The incredible reach of the Internet of Things will realise life enhancing experiences and many new enterprise paradigms in how we interact with physical infrastructures. The Croke Park test bed, and our collaboration with DCU and ASU, will push the boundaries of innovation within the Smart Stadium context, and critically will provide an open platform allowing enterprises of all sizes to co-innovate for experience and value,” said Philip Moynagh, Vice President of the Internet of Things Group at Intel.
As the third largest stadium in Europe and a venue managing several tens of thousands of people, Croke Park provides unique opportunities for exploring innovative projects through which large, medium and small companies can beta test and pilot new ideas and solutions for connecting the physical with the online world; ways that allow smarter living.
Peter McKenna, Director of Croke Park Stadium said, “The demands that we face, not just on match days but 365 days of the year, make Croke Park an ideal test bed for IoT technologies and we look forward to assisting our partners to deliver innovations developed in our Smart Stadium for deployment in Smart City environments. We are already world leaders in stadium sustainability and intend to become world leaders in stadium connectivity and smart technologies, this collaboration with DCU, Intel and ASU will help us to deliver that goal.”
DCU and ASU have been collaborating since 2006, developing international cooperation in education, research and economic development, based on their shared values of innovation and entrepreneurship, technology-enhanced learning, research and discovery.
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