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Five Brazil World Cup stadium tech facts

As the World Cup kicks off, we list five technology projects rolled out across the venues that will be hosting the tournament in Brazil over the next month.

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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 5 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

1. Security

The Brazilian government acquired 27 robots from US company IRobot for $7.2m which are able to detect bombs and explosives, as well as other risk activities in and around the venues. The equipment, which has been used to detect explosives in Afghanistan and Iraq, will also be deployed in the Olympic Games in 2016. 

All World Cup venues are also equipped with a vast amount of surveillance cameras - for example, the Arena Fonte Nova in Bahia has 227 cameras that capture images in high definition, scattered across all sectors of the venues, including strategic areas inside and outside the stadia. The cameras can recognize and store data of up to 400 faces per second.

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2 of 5 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

2. Goal line technology

Goal line technology will be in place for the first time at a World Cup to support match officials. Some 14 high-speed cameras, seven per goal, will be in place at each of the 12 World Cup stadiums to determine if an attempt on goal has crossed the line or not.

The cameras provided by German firm GoalControl then send data to a central image processing computer system that tracks the ball’s position to determine whether it has crossed the line or not. When the goal is confirmed, a signal is sent to the referee’s watches.

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3 of 5 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

3. LED panels

The external lighting of stadia is a striking feature of the World Cup 2014: the Arena Corinthians, where the tournament's opening ceremony will take place, will feature one of the biggest LED panels in the world, 170 meters long and 20 meters tall, with 34 thousand LEDs, implemented in partnership with Osram. The feature, until now inexistent in Brazil, will display videos, information and adverts, as well as match highlights during the events.

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4 of 5 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

4. Access control

The turnstiles at World Cup venues in Brazil will feature high definition cameras, which validate tickets in real time through a TCP/IP protocol to identify ticket holder details and seat location. Another feature, requested by FIFA, which can be used in the event of an emergency, allows the bars to be lowered automatically. The turnstiles integrate technology by firms including Wolpac, BWA and Skidata and are expected to process 30 fans per minute on average and the majority were already in place in the Confederations Cup.

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5 of 5 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

5. Mobile boost

Despite being able to implement Wi-fi across only half the World Cup host venues, the Brazilian telcos managed to ramp up the conventional 2G, 3G and 4G networks through extra equipment inside the stadium. However, at the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo, the capacity is for 12,000 simultaneous data connections - and the World Cup opening stadium has more than 48,000 seats.

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