Croke Park is the world’s first internet of things stadium

4 Sep 20151035 Shares

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Batten down the hatches, Dublin, the machines are coming! Croke Park is about to be festooned with all kinds of internet of things sensors.

Intel’s project to turn Dublin into the world’s first internet of things city has begun with Croke Park, where over 70 companies, as well as researchers from DCU and Arizona State University, today converged to figure out how they can use the stadium to trial smart technologies.

Croke Park is the third largest stadium in Europe and the focal point for Ireland’s Gaelic games tradition.

The plan is to allow large, medium and small companies to beta test and pilot new ideas for the internet of things.

“The demands that we face, not just on match days but 365 days of the year, make Croke Park an ideal test bed for IoT technologies, and we look forward to assisting our partners to deliver innovations developed in our Smart Stadium for deployment in Smart City environments,” said Peter McKenna, director of Croke Park.

“We are already world leaders in stadium sustainability and intend to become world leaders in stadium connectivity and smart technologies. This collaboration with DCU, Intel and ASU will help us to deliver that goal.”

Internet of things projects already underway at Croke Park

Pictured: Martin Curley from Intel; Arizona University president Michael Crow; Intel Internet of Things Group VP Philip Moynagh; DCU president Prof Brian MacCraith; Uachtaran Chumann Luthchleas Aogan O’Fearghail and Ard Stiurthoir Paraic Duffy

Pictured: Martin Curley from Intel; Arizona University president Michael Crow; Intel Internet of Things Group VP Philip Moynagh; DCU president Prof Brian MacCraith; Uachtaran Chumann Luthchleas Aogan O’Fearghail and Ard Stiurthoir Paraic Duffy

Current projects focus on enriching the stadium and fan experience by monitoring pitch quality and stadium microclimate, analysing athlete’s performance, predicting traffic to and from the stadium and developing apps that indicate queueing times at refreshment and convenience facilities.

“The next 5-10 years will see exponential growth in the burgeoning IoT sector, and we have an opportunity to lead Ireland’s test bed facility with Croke Park and Intel in order to bridge the research-to-market gap,” said Professor Noel O’Connor, director of DCU’s IT and Digital Society Research and Enterprise Hub.

“Ireland is rich in high-potential startups and SMEs that can both get value and bring value to the Smart Stadium concept, which will draw on multi-disciplinary expertise in Irish universities to focus on problem-solving on a national scale.”

The global value of the IoT sector is predicted to exceed £25 billion a year (€34.2bn) by 2020 with an expectation that 4.9bn devices will be connected in 2015, rising to 25bn by 2025.

One of the most significant barriers identified to the development of the IoT industry is the lack of test beds to trial new technologies for wide-scale deployment.

As part of this transatlantic collaboration, two test beds have been created simultaneously at Croke Park Stadium and Sun Devil Stadium in Arizona to test the capabilities of IoT technologies in these unique environments.

Intel’s end-to-end IoT portfolio, including Intel IoT gateways based on the Irish designed and produced Intel Quark processor, is being used to facilitate the research and pilot deployments.

Intel’s vice president of the Internet of Things Group, Philip Moynagh, said successful application of the technologies in the stadium, as a city in miniature, will create a platform for further innovations in smart living, sustainability and smart cities.

“The incredible reach of the Internet of Things will realise life enhancing experiences and many new enterprise paradigms in how we interact with physical infrastructures,” Moynagh said.

“The Croke Park test bed, and our collaboration with DCU and ASU, will push the boundaries of innovation within the Smart Stadium context and, critically, will provide an open platform, allowing enterprises of all sizes to co-innovate for experience and value.”

Croke Park image via Shutterstock

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com