German Giant Makes World Cup Matches More Secure

Millions of people are enjoying World Cup 2006 more conveniently and securely thanks to advanced facilities provided by German technology giant Siemens.

Not only are all 12 stadiums fitted with the latest technology, but surrounding areas are also well-equipped and automatically managed by intelligent systems.

Silvio Reale, vice president of building systems at Siemens' Automation and Drives, said the company had provided a range of complex systems to allow people to enjoy the soccer matches seamlessly at the sports venues and surrounding areas throughout Germany.

Starting with the ticketing system, Reale said people could use their World Cup ticket, embedded with a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip, to get discounts on the subway on routes to the stadiums. When they reach the stadium, they can find their way to their seat easily via a visitor information kiosk using the same RFID ticket, then pass quickly through the stadium area in relative comfort.

From a security point of view, the RFID-ticket automatically allows only specific ticket holders to enter certain high-security or VIP areas of the stadium.

About 80 portable RFID ticket-readers are used by stadium staff to check information on tickets against a database via wireless LAN quickly and easily.

For people who drive to the stadium, the surrounding area is equipped with a traffic management system. This records data on traffic flow to and from the stadiums, in city centres and on highways, then guides motorists to their destinations quickly, while also giving information on detours to other drivers who are not attending the matches.

Each stadium also has a parking management system. Sensors along highways near the venues register data about passing cars for security management purposes.

All 12 stadiums are equipped with many subsystems, including energy supply and distribution systems, building and security management, fire-detection systems, video monitoring, floodlighting systems, access control systems, and telecommunication systems.

Both energy supply and IT infrastructure are protected by backup systems. If one of the systems fails, another seamlessly takes over to provide the maximum comfort and security for people attending all 64 matches.

"Many intelligent closed-circuit television systems are built into the stadiums, and they can monitor all spectators individually. With high-definition cameras, the movements of people in each specific area can be monitored in the case of potential violence, and staff will be immediately alerted, within seconds," said Reale.

Smoke and motion detectors, emergency alarm systems, and other sensors are linked to a network with visible and disguised surveillance cameras and monitors, both inside and outside the stadiums. With special cameras that are nearly invisible, staff can sweep across the stadium and zoom in on a five-seat area.

Asina Pornwasin

The Nation

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