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Qatar Football World Cup To Be Digitalized As Fans Will Be Guided By Smartphones


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An innovators team from Saudi taking part in Challenge 22, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC)’s regional innovation award is working towards a plan which that allows smartphones to guide fans throughout the entire tournament.

Saudi engineer Faisal Alferdos’ project, Smart Stadium – Indoor Navigation & Access Management, will provide an exceptional fan engagement experience through smartphones, according to an article on the SC website.

It was started by an Al Hilal started a company – Near Motion – with an aim for creating solutions for the first ever World Cup to be held in Middle East and Challenge 22 was a perfect platform to work out his idea.

His project combines “mobile ticketing, access management and indoor navigation (including seat and stadium facilities wayfinding), location-based notifications, analytical tools, reporting and much more.”

Alferdos wants the Qatar World Cup to be the smartest and the most connected fan experience yet. “Assuming that most fans will be holding a smartphone, we’re customising this solution to the World Cup by distributing Bluetooth low-energy devices around the stadium that can be detected by the smartphones to perform certain actions. Using this technology, friends will also be able to locate each other,” he said.

Fans will receive a personalised message as soon as they enter the stadium after swiping their ticket.  “From there on, the app will take them into the stadium using step-by-step indoor navigation, directing them to different facilities like shops or restrooms.”

The young engineer was listed in the Forbes Middle East as one of the entrepreneurs shaping Saudi Arabia’s future. He said, “No matter how cool your project or idea is, without an initiative such as Challenge 22 it is very likely to stay in the dark. This will be the most important event in the world, and it will bring a lot of opportunities to businesses in the region.”

The Smart Stadium proposal is one of the 12 ideas that made it to the final of Challenge 22 in the Internet category. Of the total number of submissions selected for the final round, eight came from Qatar; five from Jordan; four from Saudi Arabia; three from Egypt; two each came from Oman, Tunisia and the UAE; and one concept each was selected from Kuwait and Morocco.