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RFID Brings Security, Location Awareness to First European Games

The athletic event's security provider, Main Development, used a Mojix UHF RFID solution to track where attendees went within three venues, and to ensure that unauthorized people didn't enter VIP areas.
By Claire Swedberg
Sep 23, 2015

When the estimated 250,000 visitors attended the first European Games held in Baku, Azerbaijan, RFID tags built into their tickets enabled event organizers to track their locations across three of the main venues.

The system employed Mojix's STAR technology and ViZix IOT software platform, which enabled the security and surveillance systems provider, Main Development, to ensure that individuals could be found if needed, based on their last known location, and that no one entered an unauthorized area.

A STAR receiver (the white rectangle in the photo's right corner) mounted near the ceiling of the Crystal Hall Arena.
The first European Games included 6,000 athletes from 50 European countries competing in 20 events, such as basketball, water polo, mountain biking and gymnastics.

One of the Azerbaijan government's security issues related to making sure that none of the attendees—there were up to 60,000 on any given day of the two-week event—entered an area in which they were not permitted. Especially of concern were the VIP areas in which dignitaries and world leaders might be located, explains Peyman Askari, Main Development's project director. Typically, tracking individuals' locations once they enter the main gates is difficult, and the only way to protect the VIP area would have been to manually confirm authorization based on the information printed on tickets.

The company opted for an RFID solution that would provide location-specific information without requiring any effort on the part of attendees, Askari says, rather than a proximity system that would necessitate individuals to present their tickets or ID cards to a reader. Prior to the games, Main Development installed a solution consisting of Mojix's STAR receiver and antennas (to receive tag transmissions), as well as eNodes (to send transmissions to tags). The technology was installed at three of the six venues: the Olympic Stadium, the National Gymnastics Arena and the Crystal Hall Arena. The RFID system, Main Development determined, would be of most value at the three largest venues, where most visitors go, whereas smaller venues did not require as much location-specific attendee data.

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