UK team explores how IOT technology could improve concert safety

Researchers from London’s Kingston University are looking at how drones, smart wristbands and body-mounted video cameras could be used to help keep people safe at large outdoor concerts.

Revellers at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival. Credit: neal whitehouse piper via Flickr

The university’s Robot Vision team (RoViT) has secured funding of more than €900,000 to work on the security aspect of the €15m EC funded MONICA project, an international study aimed at addressing the noise impact and security challenges faced when managing large outdoor concerts.

Coordinated by German research organisation the Fraunhofer Society, MONICA (which stands for Management Of Networked IoT wearables – very large scale demonstration of Cultural societal Applications) project will aim to demonstrate how the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technologies could be brought together in a networked system to help manage large-scale events.

The Kingston team will explore how smart technologies could improve video surveillance and speed up response from security teams to incidents in the middle of a large crowd.

Its work will involve examining how various devices could secure live video, audio and other data and how these could be used to respond to incidents more quickly. “We will be looking at how wearable devices – such as smart wristbands that could be worn by concert-goers – could connect to a system……which will provide GPS information,” said lead researcher Professor Paolo Remagnino. “We will be researching how other inter-connected IoT technologies, such as body-mounted video cameras or potentially even drones, could then be sent in to the affected areas to get footage that can be fed back in to the system.” Smart wristband technologies are already in use as part of distributed lighting systems at outdoor concerts (most notably by the band Coldplay) and for ticketing and security purposes.

The project will also involve the team looking into how all of this data could then be brought together through a cloud-based system where it would be stored indefinitely, allowing it to be examined and processed both live and after the event, Professor Remagnino said.

During the three-year project, pilot events will be held across several European cities with the aim of demonstrating how a system bringing together these technologies could be used in the real world.