Famed Man City Football Club Adding AI Crowd Intelligence Tech To Boost Gameday Experiences

December 6, 2022 by Dave Haynes

A technology partnership with Cisco appears to be paying off for Detroit-based computer vision firm WaitTime, which will see its real-time crowd intelligence platform installed and activated at one of the higher profile venues in global football: Etihad Stadium, home of the Premier League club Manchester City.

The agreement to use the WaitTime technology, says a report, comes as a result of the club’s partnership with Cisco, who became Man City’s Official Technology partner in 2019.

WaitTime is an interesting little company that took the core concept of AI/computer vision video analytics and applied it to a specific problem – line-ups at large venues like stadiums and arenas. The platform has a digital signage output that tells event-goers while on the concourses the state of lineups for restrooms and food/drinks concessions. Real-time graphics direct people, based on where they are, to the shortest lines. That does a few things: load-balances lines, reduces line abandonments and therefore boost sales, and makes for a better overall fan experience.

It’s what I call boring digital signage that exists to make something better.

The full deployment follows on a successful pilot on one level of the stadium. It will now also be used on the other concourse levels.

“Continually improving the matchday experience for fans visiting the Etihad Stadium is a priority across all areas of our Club,” Greg Swimer, Chief Information & Technology Officer for City, told Inside World Football, “WaitTime has been implemented across our largest concourse areas and the opportunities for its use are widespread, with the potential to expand to other areas of the stadium as well as the potential for future integration into live digital signage and other platforms.”

Cisco has been at the venue doing networked systems since 2013, and WaitTime’s technology integrates with the existing Cisco Meraki technology set-up in place at the Etihad.

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