Biometric systems are used more and more commonly for stadium entry identification. But this one may be a game-changer, facilitating both access for fans and surveillance for organisers.
If you go to games regularly, you surely know this feeling: running late, the game is closing and you’re still queuing for the turnstiles. On the other hand, if you’re the organizer, you will agree that growing queues and congestion at the gates means increasing risk of injuries, panic, even disorder.
Conventional access systems (turnstiles and chip/barcode scanners) offer limited capacity. One turnstile can allow roughly 8 people inside on average, meaning 500 per hour. This is sufficient two hours before games, but not necessarily in the last half-an-hour, when everyone is rushing to take their seats.
This is when the latest idea from Hitachi comes in. The Japanese company is currently testing finger-vein scanners which would allow spectator identification just by waving one’s hand close to the scanner. It looks very much like grocery scanning and is quite as fast.
“If fingers are placed in that space, regardless of number, position or orientation, finger veins are detected instantaneously. […]The user need not be concerned with the position of the finger, and can quickly pass through a gate.” Hitachi assure.
Using walk-through gate the system is announced to identify and allow up to 70 people per minute (4,200 per hour!) with one scanner. With stadiums it would most likely be used combined with turnstiles rather than more comfortable walk-through gates and fans are double-checked, so the capacity would be considerably lower than the 70 people per minute, but still impressive.
However, as the system is being tested, it may take several years before we see its first mass use.