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Blink Identity: Walk straight into an event 

Blink Identity offers the latest solution for quick and easy access to events, as face recognition software can be used as a ticket.

Recently, we’ve seen QR codes become as prominent as ever with Covid-19 protocols in mind – particularly for checking in to venues. 

Blink Identity offers the latest solution for quick and easy access to events, as face recognition software can be used as a ticket – rather than having a physical or digital copy on hand. 

Backed by decades of experience, they have been developing identity systems for enterprises in high-risk environments. The biometric matching system has utilised military-grade technology to accurately identify people walking at a typical pace, adaptable to any lighting conditions. 

The basis of Blink Identity is simple – when a sports club or venue is partnered up with the company and has the camera software in place, visitors are required to enrol in the service by taking a ‘selfie’ photograph on their phone. 

Face recognition like a barcode

By taking a photograph in a matter of seconds, this leads to enormous time saved when the visitor has arrived to enter a stadium or venue, where this eliminates the risk of waiting in lines. Blink Identity collects an image of a person’s face to then be converted into a special unique code known as a mathematical template for identification purposes (like a barcode). Basic contact details involving full name and email address are used for a personalised greeting and if Blink Identity needs to contact the person respectively, with this information to ensure that a spectator can be identified at a venue and if any problems arise with the account. 

With a Blink Identity lane in operation, all the visitor needs to do is walk through and the sensor takes another photograph – to be converted into a template – which is then immediately deleted and is not saved on the sensor. This process is simply to compare the initial template (selfie) with the latest version from when the person enters a venue. 

The versatility and reliability of this technology has not only been tested with lighting conditions, but also to adjust for slight changes to a person’s appearance from one photo to the next. For instance, anyone wearing hats, glasses, colored contacts, head scarves or has a beard does not affect Blink Identity’s system. The vast majority of sunglasses, face paint schemes and sequins have also been proven to not change how the sensors operate. The system, which can identify identical twins better than the human eye, caters for any changes to a person’s appearance. In addition, customers wearing face masks are matched using periocular recognition. This is a special type of face matching that focuses on the area of the face around the eye. 

The Blink Identity Sensor

Likened to walking in like a red carpet, Blink Identity is virtually a replica with that same VIP-type feel for successful entry. Once inside the venue, the use of Blink Identity’s sensors can expand towards purchasing food and merchandise, where customer experience is advanced. For instance, if an ID check is required from a customer, a simple face recognition check can be completed, rather than sifting through pockets trying to find a driver’s license or similar.

The ease of this technology is not only positive for visitors, but for companies as well who hold events. Blink Identity integrates with standard frameworks and workflows to handle everything from implementation and enrollment to privacy compliance. By switching to Blink Identity’s system, it connects to existing ticketing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), point of sale (POS), time & attendance and security systems. This will allow organisations to get a better insight of fan data, promoting increased revenues and analytics. 

As countries start to welcome back more fans on the other side of Covid-19 outbreaks, Blink Identity can help manage the reintroduction of these fans through seamless entry. It’s an extra piece of technology that can certainly speed up the process at popular crowded events.  

For everything you need to know about Blink Identity, you can find it here. 

Liam Watson is the Managing Editor at Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Los Angeles FC teams up with Foundation Fighting Blindness to host vision impaired fans

Major League Soccer club Los Angeles FC is teaming up with the Foundation Fighting Blindness to host blind and low vision fans at LAFC matches at Banc of California Stadium this season.

Leveraging the team’s partnership with audio technology Mixhalo, fans will have access to crystal-clear, real-time play-by-play in English, featuring the call of ESPN LA’s Dave Denholm and the Spanish audio featuring Armando Aguayo on 980 AM La Mera Mera.

All fans at Banc of California can now use their phone, headphones and the free mobile Mixhalo app to listen to Mixhalo’s high-quality live audio for an immersive experience while watching at the stadium.

As the first-ever MLS team to adopt the technology, LAFC announced its collaboration with Mixhalo in December 2020. With fans now returning to Banc of California Stadium at full capacity, Mixhalo audio will be available to all fans at every LAFC home game throughout the remainder of the 2022 season.

“LAFC matches are for everyone,” LAFC Co-President and CBO Larry Freedman told lafc.com.

“We are constantly focusing on improving our fan experience and making our games more accessible to all. We are proud to welcome fans from the Foundation Fighting Blindness community this season to experience LAFC matches in person through Mixhalo’s incredible technology.”

Guests from the Foundation Fighting Blindness community will attend select LAFC home games and have the opportunity to meet with Denholm and Aguayo before the game.

“We are honoured to be partnering with LAFC in making the games more accessible for our blind and low vision community,” Jason Menzo said to lafc.com, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

“We look forward to the technology rolling out into other stadiums, not only in the United States, but globally.

Mixhalo Head of Sports Doug Holtzman added:

“Mixhalo elevates the live sports experience for everyone, and we’re thrilled that vision impaired LAFC fans can enjoy a better experience at matches this season.”

“With live calls from Dave Denholm directly in your ear – it really doesn’t get much better than that.”

FIFA and EA Sports end 30-year deal

As reported by the New York Times on Wednesday, gaming giant EA Sports and world football governing body FIFA have parted ways.

The partnership dated back to 1993, when FIFA International Soccer was launched for the SEGA Genesis.

Their current partnership was set to expire at the conclusion of the Qatar World Cup, with a new deal aiming to branch out into new areas – including NFTs.

It was reported that EA made a ‘significant offer’ for an eight-year exclusivity deal with FIFA for all of its Esports and gaming rights. However, the deal was knocked back, according to Reuters, as FIFA did not want the rights all with one company.

FIFA 23 will be the last game made in collaboration between the two organisations, set to release in late September this year, worldwide.

The FIFA series was estimated at the start of 2021 to have sold over 325 million units, according to ForbesFIFA 18 is the equal 40th highest selling video game of all time, estimated at 24 million units across all platforms.

FIFA confirmed it would still produce video games with third party developers, while EA will rebrand the FIFA series under the title EA Sports FC. The new series would include licensees such as the Premier League and LaLiga, which at this stage has authentic coverage, as all players are face scanned and the full broadcast packages akin to real life are featured in the game.

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