AI by Speech Technology Center Improves Sport: Biometric Facial Recognition System Implemented at «Gazprom Arena»

20 March 2020, Moscow — Speech Technology Center has launched the Smart Tracker FRS, a biometric facial identification system, at the home stadium of FC Zenit, «Gazprom Arena». The system has been used since 29 February. It is installed on the turnstiles at the entrance to the first tier of the D stand, where the active fan sectors are located. With the launch of this project, Speech Technology Center has implemented the Smart Tracker FRS for the fourteenth time at a sports facility, which is proof of Speech Technology Center team's expertise and the solution's effectiveness.

«FC Zenit was one of the first in the world to implement facial recognition at a sports stadium (at "Petrovskiy" stadium in 2014), with the Smart Tracker FRS proving itself to be a most successful solution. Now, it operates at the fan Virazh of "Gazprom Arena". It is designed to create a safe and comfortable environment. The system allows an increase in the security level, a decrease in public image and financial costs incurred through illegal actions by fans, prevention of banned fans from entering the stadium, and prompt response to attempts by fans to enter the stadium using other fans' passes. Implementation of face recognition helps clubs save considerably on fines and generally enables them to know their guests better, systematising work with them», explained Yuriy Fedotov, Security Director of FC Zenit.

In 2014, when the security level at stadiums dropped, FC Zenit incurred financial damage through illegal actions undertaken by fans; some games had to be played with no spectators present. Through cooperation with the Security Service of FC Zenit, specialists from Speech Technology Center were able to adapt the Smart Tracker FRS biometric video identification system for the sports industry. The specialists developed operating scenarios, created custom operator interfaces, and designed a scheme for interaction with the control and access management system. As of today, FC Zenit has been operating the system at home and away games for six years. For example, at over 40 games of the first 2014 – 2015 season, over 210,000 fans passed through the Smart Tracker FRS, and over 60 troublemakers were identified and denied entrance without affecting the turnstile capacity.

The system was also employed at the Fan Fest venues during the 2018 World Cup, where new technologies and solutions from various Russian and foreign vendors were used. The successful use and high rating from sports experts ensured that the system became more widespread. Over the past six years, the Smart Tracker FRS has been implemented at more than ten stadiums and ice arenas that host both national and international championships all over the country. Speech Technology Center presented an AI solution that allows for compliance with legal requirements and that Russian Premier Liga and Kontinental Hockey League requirements for video identification are met.

«FC Zenit is our strategic partner, and the Smart Tracker FRS operation at "Gazprom Arena" means a lot to us. It means more than just implementation, it is proof of our product's effectiveness in long - term use by one of the most famous clubs in Europe. Since the first implementation of the system, our algorithms and the product as a whole have advanced significantly, and we continue to fine-tune them. In the future, it will be possible to apply our solutions not only locally, but nationally, which would serve the interests of both Russian and world sport», comments Alex Markachev, Head of Product at Speech Technology Center.
Speech Technology Center (part of the Sberbank ecosystem) is a global developer of intelligent speech and face recognition technologies, and an expert resource in AI and machine learning, the member of 
ESSMA, the European Stadium and Safety Management Association unites the stadium industry. The SmartTracker FRS system is already in use in over 10 stadiums and ice arenas and more than 20 transport facilities. It is used in 5 Russian cities as part of the Safe City hardware and software package. Technavio research company lists STC as a major player in the biometric technology market. 


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Photo: Evgeniy Asmolov, FC Zenit Press Service