A Detroit-based startup called Waittime has developed a data-driven, multi-screen platform aimed at improving the fan experience at sports and entertainment venues, by telling people where the washroom and concession lines are shorter.
The company installs sensors in venue concourses, with the data they spit out interpreted using artificial intelligence to determine wait times. The results are shown as lineup conditions on real-time dashboards, both on digital signs around the venue and on a smartphone app tied to that venue.
The idea is that people who know where lines are shorter will enjoy a game or concert much more if they don’t spend much of it waiting in lineups. For venue operators, that sort of visualized information can “load balance” a venue so all concessions get somewhat equal traffic, and fans don’t look at lines and say, “Screw it … I’m not that hungry.”
I’ve not seen it myself, but the product seems like a great example of using data and displays to make the fan experience faster, better and easier. If you can do that, you’d on to something.
I also like that the dashboard screens have a monetization model through sponsorship – which means a venue could put this platform in and, in theory, make it cost neutral. If it makes more fans willing to stand in lines, then it’s making incremental money.
The platform has some installations in place, including the Palace of Auburn Hills, home to Detroit’s NBA team.