The Camp Nou’s 3D digital Twin model from the IoTwins project has been developed in the supercomputer MareNostrum 4, which is property of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). In addition, adaptations of the pilot project for testing purposes are already underway. During the Granada vs FC Barcelona match on Monday the 20th of September, all the experimental trials conducted in the laboratory were taken at the stadium for the first time. This is a tool which will simulate and predict the behaviour of the attendees during a game, improving big facilities management. It will also provide fans with better comfort and safety measures, amongst other advances.
The adaptation process consists of calibrating the counting sensors and collecting data for the algorithm to validate everything done so far. In this phase, data on different game situations that could unfold should be collected. As the FC Barcelona technical coordinator of the project, Álex Gil, explains: “For the success of all our work into real-life situations, we must collect data that can be used for the maximum number of scenarios. For instance, the match against Granada was an unusual one. It was on a Monday evening, and it was raining. The 30% capacity limit of the stadium due to Covid-19 pandemic – an aspect that determines the number of people attending a game – the mobility of visitors and their arrival time made attendance difficult. Fewer families and children were actually present, which is more common at conventional times such as on Sunday afternoons. While setting and analysing the tracking variables, each experience becomes significant for collecting data and thus training the models.”
However, event constraints are currently the norm due to Covid-19 restrictions. Following the new stadium protocols, there are fewer tickets available. Moreover, clubs can outline their seating plans and control access to their facilities, thus preventing people build-ups. On the other hand, some sectors of the stadium are also under construction. This can disrupt the flow of attendees since they need to make their way more cautiously or slowly than in the rest of the facility.
One of this season’s objectives is to test and to improve the tool by considering all the possible scenarios. During this initial phase, Fernando Cucchietti – head of Data Analytics and Visualization at BSC – has explained that everything necessary to obtain data is being calibrated. “We have tried the hardware and also have used the Wi-Fi data provided by the facility and their surroundings. Besides, we are analysing the information gathered by the counting sensors”, he added. As soon as these elements are set up, the pilot tool will be tested.
The ultimate goal is that, with all data acquired, the tool will be able to make the most accurate and precise predictions about the spectators’ flow and behaviour considering different scenarios. For example, if a door cannot be opened due to construction works at the stadium, the model will have to foresee what would happen in such a case and to make changes accordingly. In this way, one of the goals of the project would be accomplished: to have a problem-solving model when faced with construction work or other potential emergency situations.
In the long run, the digital twin of the stadium will be useful for enhancing fan’s experience as it will control and disperse crowds, especially in the entrance gate and in the halls of the facilities. In short, it will make any journey from the time people enter and leave the stadium faster and more comfortable. In the same way, maximum efficiency will be achieved in the safety management of the attendees as the simulation of scenarios will allow for different alternatives of evacuation procedures in case that any emergency occurs.
The IoTwins project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. Similarly, as the program that is currently in the initial phase for the Camp Nou, a model for the Johan Cruyff Stadium (7000-seat) will be done. This will result in a product that could be used in other sporting venues or sectors, such as shopping centres, so as to guarantee safety and improve accessibility. A contribution to the European R&D by Barça.
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