Face recognition launched at Gazprom Arena
18 March 2020 14:01 GMT

Vizir, a Russian face recognition biometric system by Speech Technology Center Group or STC Group, part of Sberbank ecosystem, has been introduced at Gazprom Arena, the home stadium of Zenit soccer club. The system has been used since February 29; it is installed at turnstile gates of the first tier of Stand D, the sector for active fans. This project is the 14th adoption of the Vizir face recognition system at sports facilities in Russia. The move confirmed STC team’s expertise and solution’s efficiency.

Yury Fedotov, Security Director, Zenit FC,

“Zenit was one of the first in the world to introduce the face recognition system at the sports stadium back in 2014 at Petrovsky stadium where Vizir showed good results. Now it works inside the fan zone of Gazprom Arena. Its main objective is to create a secure and comfortable environment: the system helps to increase the security level, reduce image risks and financial expenses related to illegal actions of fans, prevent banned fans from entering the stadium, and quickly react to attempts to enter using other fans’ permanent tickets. The face recognition adoption enables the clubs to save on fines significantly, as well as learn more about their visitors and improve systemic work with them.”

In 2014, the security level at stadiums dropped, Zenit faced economic damages from illegal actions of fans and matches were held without audience. By interacting with Zenit security service, STC specialists adapted the Vizir video identification biometric system for sports; in particular, they developed working scenarios, created user interfaces of operators and interaction framework between the control system and access management. Today Zenit has used the system for home and away matches for six years; for example, Vizir identified more than 210,000 fans over 40 matches of the 2014–2015 season alone, and recognized and barred 60 offenders from visiting the games without negatively affecting throughput of the entrance groups.

The system was also used at the fan festivals during the 2018 FIFA World Cup where the new technologies and solutions by different Russian and foreign vendors were employed. The successful use and high appreciation on behalf of sports experts resulted in scaling up: over the last six years Vizir has been introduced at more than ten stadiums and ice arenas across Russia, which hosted not only national championships, but also international competitions. STC Group provided AI-based solutions which help to meet legislation along with Russian Premier League and Kontinental Hockey League requirements on video identification.

Alexey Markachyov, Head of Biometric System Product Unit, STC Group,

“Zenit is our strategic partner, and the work of Vizir system at Gazprom Arena has a special status. It is more than just an adoption, it’s a proof of our product efficiency when one of the most popular clubs in Europe uses it in the long-term. Since their first introduction, our algorithms and product in general were improved significantly. And we continue to upgrade them. In the future, our solution could work not only locally, but also at the national level, meeting the interests of Russian and global sports.”


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