Allianz Riviera Stadium Lab Use InsideBot, Google Glass And Drones To Enhance Fan Experience
It is my pleasure to introduce the Sports Techie community blog readers and followers to the newest project at Sportfive France : The insideBot of Allianz Riviera stadium, located near the French Riviera. The Allianz Riviera stadium is the 1st positive-energy stadium in the Euro 2016 and known as the center for sports technology innovations focused on enhancing the fan experience. Earlier this year, they implemented innovative Google Glass and drone experiences and followed that up with the new insideBot product making this sustainable venue of the finest across Europe and the world for soccer and rugby fans.
Think of a Segway that functions as a robot with a screen where a human head would be. The insideBot is basically a robot that fans can control from home when you can’t go to the stadium, using a computer and webcam. For the first time in stadium history, the Inside Bot, a robot remotely controlled by a fan, allow users to engage with pre-match and post-match activities with a behind the scenes look like never before. This customized technology manufactured by Awabot, gives spectators on the Internet or with reduced mobility such as the handicapped, the opportunity to be part of the event via unlimited access to the backstage of the stadium, before and after the game.
Fans have been able to speak with players and press, watch the team arrival and walk onto the field, visit locker rooms and surrounding areas, and attend press conferences, in addition to see hospitality areas, thanks to the insideBot.
To maneuver and control the robot, fans are required to like the Allianz Riviera Facebook page and take part in their upcoming sweepstake. The contest to take control of the robot is not quite live yet, but it will be very soon so check back to their Facebook fan page often.
Relive the first visit of the Inside Bot at Allianz Riviera Stadium by watching this video:
Lydie Hippon-Darde, head of the Allianz brand in France, said: “We are delighted to be able to create new, audience focused experiences. Our naming of the stadium and our partnership with OGC Nice are enabling us to make the Allianz Riviera a platform for interacting and sharing with our communities. Our ambition is to make Allianz Riviera the first stadium where technology is in the interest of passion, as well as being a benchmark for Euro 2016 and many events to come.”
Allianz Riviera Lab
Sportfive, a Lagardère Unlimited company, are the agency of Allianz and they manage this innovative digital laboratory. They created the Allianz Riviera Lab that turns the stadium into a testing ground for new technologies. It has a wide range of digital initiatives designed to bring fans closer to the action. One of the goals is to test new technologies that improve the fan experience.
Their fans requested more options using social networks resulting on the launch of Allianz Riviera’s Socialscreen in March. Allianz became the first stadium in France to create an interactive system allowing fans to ask questions of players after matches with hashtag #Socialscreen. Players answered using live video recordings that interfaced with the Socialscreen terminal, presenting fans a unique behind the scenes Q&A interview session used at all OGC Nice matches.
Since this successful campaign, fans now have the honor to be flag-bearers and reporters. I personally like the fan-centric opportunity to display photos on stadium big screens using Facebook and Twitter. The Allianz Riviera stadium Fancam sports tech product was developed for use during a match with a full stadium. The record attendance of 35,030 fans partook in a 360° photo of the stands, highlighted by 20,000 megapixels definitions. After the match, happy supporters went online to the Allianz Riviera website to tag themselves and friends in the crowd, then and share the image on social media channels.
To further the connected stadium transition, Google Glass, drones and 3D printers – within Allianz Riviera, allowed fans unparalleled experiences.
Google Glass at Allianz Riviera.
Drone at Allianz Riviera.
Florent Marty, Director, Marketing and Business development of SPORTFIVE, said: “Allianz Riviera is a superb setting, and deserves the best. Our role is to deliver leading-edge solutions that meet the needs of this ultra-modern stadium and the public. This first season has been a big success. We are now looking ahead to the future with great excitement, aiming to establish these innovations and introduce new ones.”
Allianz Riviera, on the Côte d’Azur in south-east France, can be found in Saint-Isidore neighborhood in the north-west part of Nice. The stadium plays host to OGC Nice, founded on July 9th 1904 and one of the top 10 teams of the 1st soccer division in France, the 4-time winner of the French Championship, 3 victories in the French Football Cup and one victory in the Gambardella Cup. RC Toulon, one the best rugby team in Europe with two recent European champion titles, is their sother sport tenant.
In order to become the first positive-energy stadium for the Euro 2016 football tournament, sustainability and energy performance measures were imposed to reduce the impact on the environment.
- Optimization of performance based on life-cycle analysis.
- Reduction of carbon emissions thanks to the stands being covered by the largest 3-dimensional wood structure ever designed for a venue of this kind.
- Light filtration using a natural membrane.
- Air conditioning partly assured by natural ventilation.
- Recovery of rain water.
- A 100% natural pitch.
- A self-cleaning membrane allowing daylight to filter through, thus giving natural lighting for the pitch.
- Limited number of outdoor parking facilities.
Key technological features
- The stadium is connected to the 4FG SFR system.
- On-line ticket office.
- Admission control allowing for all kinds of tickets to be scanned: 2D and 3D barcodes, e-tickets, RFID and NFC cards. Equipped with a screen, the admission control system enables personalized messages to be posted.
- Numerous Wi-Fi hotspots are available to users in the boxes and lounges.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool will soon refine analysis of user expectations in order to offer services increasingly well-suited to their requirements.
- On-line pre-payment from your home or seat will soon mean that you can order drinks or snacks from the snack-bars, thus ensuring a shorter wait in line.
Allianz Riviera’s turf was grown in a nursery in Le Barp and needed 25 refrigerated trucks to haul the sod to Nice. Nice Eco Stadium and OCG Nice collaborated on the decision to install 530 rolls of turf, covering 9,300 sq. metres pitch. Pipes were laid beneath the turf to circulate air, siphone off rain water, and ventilate grass during hot temperatures.
Xavier Lortat-Jacob, President of Nice Eco Stadium, the Allianz Riviera’s operating company, shared, “We are committed to build a new stadium model based on connectivity. It’s because this is a connected stadium that we will be able to develop new type of consumption and an enhanced fans experience. Those first digital actions introduced by our naming partner Allianz enable Alliance Riviera to stay a step ahead in the market.”
Sports Techie, I have never visited France except for a brief period flying in and out of Paris for the Global Sports Forum Barcelona as an official blogger in 2012 so the next best thing to learn more about the country, fans and venues is by writing blogs. Allianz Riviera stadium is indeed cutting-edge, green and fan-centric with fun sports technology led campaigns, all Sports Techie traits we enjoy.
The insideBot has tremendous potential and will scale as robotic technology matures. I particularly like the emphasis placed on the fans outside the stadium at home or on the road, and those inside that are wheelchair bound or have other physical ailments, to have digital options to be part of the show with Google Glass and drones.
Merci to Sportfive for the opportunity to research this compelling story and share it with Sports Techie. I hope to step foot inside Allianz Riviera Stadium someday but until then, my family can operate the InsideBot like fans can all over the world.
See y’all later in Seattle and here in Atlanta.
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