Superbowl LIV Used 5G Technology, 4K Resolution, Biometrics
New technologies, such as 5G, 4K Resolution, and biometrics, were prominent at Superbowl LIV. These technologies will increasingly become a part of our lives.
“Over the years, the Superbowl has been a place where technology always takes some sort of center stage — it’s prominent — and this year’s no different,” said Luis Alvarez, CEO of Alvarez Technology Group in Salinas, California.
In previous years, Superbowl was kept secure primarily through helicopters, dogs, and foot patrols. The challenge was that blackballed fans, and criminals could just get into the arena anyway and cause problems. This year Clear biometrics technology was used to speed up entry into the stadium. Facial recognition was used to spot interlopers in the stands. The Superbowl has previously been a sex trafficking site; the biometrics technology was used to try to stop this sex trafficking by identifying young people who had been reported as lost or kidnapped.
The use of biometric technology in large sports arenas is growing. It has been used at Major League Baseball parks for teams such as the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles and at the University of Texas in Austin to identify fans and quickly route them to their seats.
For the first time this year, fans at home had the opportunity to watch the game live in 4K Resolution with direct TV, cable companies, certain phones and tablets, and live streaming companies. Viewing in 4K requires the right equipment and, in the case of cable, an upgraded package. “The experience is just amazing,” said Alvarez. “If you have never watched it, I will encourage you to try it,” he said.
For the first time, the stadium and much of Miami around it was equipped with 5G technology, which also requires a 5G device to access. This technology is still in its infancy, and few phones are currently equipped with it. However, its use still improved the experience for those fans with access to it, providing download speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G technology. The NFL also offered a new feature on its app, OnePass, which allowed customers with 5G technology to watch a multi-camera live stream of the game. In the future, sports events managers will find ways to further engage with fans, even those watching at home, through 5G.
Impacts of 5G technology will be felt across many industries. For example, 5G technology will allow self-driving automobiles to become more prevalent because it will enable cars to maintain a continuous and fast connection to the network. It also will enable cities to support more autonomous vehicles on roadways at the same time. 5G will improve health care by allowing automatic patient monitoring. The technology also will pave the way for smart cities and homes in which everything can be programmed or monitored remotely.