VCA Technology achieves its goal at Euro 2012

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VCA Technology video analytics played an important role ensuring the safety of football fans whilst they enjoyed the facilities at Warsaw’s Fan Zone during Euro 2012

With Poland being one of the co-hosts for the eagerly awaited football tournament, the City of Warsaw planned ahead to ensure that those fans who could not obtain tickets to watch matches taking place at eight stadiums in Poland and Ukraine, could still feel involved by watching the action on huge TV screens at a purpose built Fan Zone.

ARS Communication, a specialist an event and concert agency, was awarded the contract to build and operate the temporary 120 thousand square metres Fan Zone in an open area located around the Palace of Culture and Science in Parade Square, Warsaw. Whilst watching the matches, those fans who entered the Fan Zone were also able to take advantage of extensive catering facilities and some of the very lucky fans were also able to have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with famous football celebrities who took the time to visit the venue.

The Challenge

The safety of everybody who were able to gain access to the Fan Zone was of course of paramount importance. Entry was free and on a first come, first served basis. It was therefore anticipated that the number of people wishing to enter could far exceed the safety level which was judged to be 95,000 people at any one time.

The challenge was to find a method that could reliably, and in real time, count the number of people who entered through one of the 7 wide entrances, whilst at the same time counting those who left the site so that maximum safety capacity could be maintained. It was quickly established that it would not be viable to deploy stewards to carry out this vital task without distracting them from their normal duties. Some of the entrances were 10 metres wide and even if a large number of stewards had been positioned at each of the entrances, it would have been very difficult to coordinate their activities to achieve an accurate count.

ARS Communication took advice from specialist installers CallNet.pl who after extensive research and testing, recommended that the solution could be found in the form of encoders equipped with VCA Technology video analytics software. As a result, CallNet.pl were commissioned to supply and install 44 of 4-ch GANZ video encoders alongside a corresponding number of high resolution video surveillance cameras manufactured by CBC.

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The Solution

By instantly analysing the images captured by cameras, the  VCA Technology video analytics software was able to instantly and accurately detect and count the exact number of people crossing  a defined zone at each of the Fan Zone’s entrances. All of the 44 GANZ encoders were integrated by CallNet.pl into one system with a central server aggregating all the metadata into a single database.

An easy to use Excel reporting tool enabled to monitor at all times just how many people were present within the Fan Zone so that stewards could be instructed if necessary to close the gates if the number of people present exceeded the safety level. At the same time, the number of people leaving the Fan Zone was monitored so that the maximum number of people could be let in to enjoy the facilities.

VCA Technology video analytics operates effectively with both indoor and outdoor cameras.

Multiple overlapping detection lines and zones can be designated to ensure that only specific activity is recorded. Direction of movement is defined so that the software only triggers when individuals or objects move in a particular direction across a zone. A rapid 'learning time' of just two seconds means that images are detected and classified almost instantaneously.

In addition to contributing to a greater understanding of people behaviour, the software can also be used for a wide range of applications including intrusion detection, vehicle monitoring, abandoned object detection and loitering detection. It can even detect camera tampering and failure. Users can take advantage of the incredibly easy to use on-screen tools to set up the required detection lines and zones and create the criteria for the required reports.

Success

The Fan Zone was a great success with literally millions of people over the course of the tournament enjoying the brilliant atmosphere. Most of the people present were probably not even aware that they were being kept safe with the help of the innovative video analytics software. The technical support teams from CallNet.pl and CBC worked extremely well together to provide us with an easy to use, but highly effective method of crowd control.

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