It’s football season once again here in the U.S.—a time for tailgating, weekly get-togethers, and celebrations (or disappointments, depending on the week). While it may be a bit early to think about the big game, Super Bowl LII, which is scheduled for Feb. 4, 2018 at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., city officials and first responders in Minneapolis have certainly had the date on their minds for quite some time.
Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest events of the year, drawing massive crowds and an even more massive TV viewing audience. Needless to say, on-site security must be top notch. Earlier this year, during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, Houston police leveraged IoT (Internet of Things) technology to stay on top of security, as the New England Patriots staged an impressive comeback against the Atlanta Falcons.
Houston police partnered with TRX Systems, www.trxsystems.com, a provider of indoor location and mapping services, leveraging TRX’s NEON Personnel Tracker application to help ensure public safety on Super Bowl Sunday 2017. The NEON Personnel Tracker application delivers 2D and 3D mapping and location in environments where GPS (global positioning system) is unavailable or unreliable. Patented location algorithms leverage all available device sensors to calculate accurate location and provide critical visualization of personnel in complex indoor and outdoor environments.
Jeff Kunst, vice president of product and business development at TRX Systems, says while many police departments, including the Houston Police Dept., have applications for tracking and communicating with officers, these applications usually rely on GPS. “Unfortunately, GPS does not penetrate buildings, and NRG Stadium, like most stadiums, represented a challenge for using existing applications to track officers when inside the nearly 2 million-sq.ft., facility, where there is no GPS,” Kunst says.
To solve the problem, TRX Systems worked alongside Houston police to equip officers with Motorola, www.motorola.com, LEX L10 Android phones and small wearable tracking units. Kunst says the NEON Location Service running on the phones fused all available map and sensor data together to compute officers’ locations in realtime as they responded to incidents during the big event. The location data was then sent to the NEON cloud using the Harris County Public Safety LTE (long-term evolution) network, where it was available to be remotely viewed in the Houston Police Command Center for realtime situational awareness and after-action review.
“During an event like the Super Bowl, there are multiple incidents occurring simultaneously,” Kunst explains. “Without a clear picture of where all potential resources are located, the remote commanders may send too many resources to one incident and be left without enough resources for another incident.”
TRX’s NEON solution provides a 3D remote visualizer that allows all resources to viewed simultaneously, which can lead to more efficient team utilization and an overall improvement in officer safety and public safety. For Super Bowl LII this February and all future Super Bowls, indoor tracking technology that can increase first responders’ situational awareness on one of the world’s largest stages is invaluable—especially in today’s uncertain world.
Challenge: Track and communicate with police officers inside NRG Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, sans GPS.
Risk: Any technical issues could result in decreased public safety.
Solution: TRX Systems’ NEON Personnel Tracker application enabled remote commanders to seamlessly track officers, dramatically improving awareness and command effectiveness during Super Bowl LI.
Payoff: Improved safety of the public and the officers themselves.