Brave new ticketing: MLB goes to facial recognition to gain access to the stadium


Important Takeaways:

  • A handful of Major League Baseball teams are debuting technology this season that allows fans to use their faces, instead of paper or digital tickets, to gain access to a stadium — a significant offering that, depending on one’s personal viewpoint, likely falls somewhere between an incredibly welcome enhancement and an alarming harbinger of eroding personal privacy.
  • Sports fans, like airline passengers or anyone who uses a smartphone, must increasingly ask themselves where to draw the line between technology that makes their experience easier and technology that can sacrifice considerable privacy.
  • A form of facial recognition is the result. The Phillies, Giants, Astros and Nationals are the first clubs to introduce what MLB calls “Go-Ahead Entry,” a league-backed program that was developed with NEC, a Japan-based technology company. Go-Ahead Entry combines with already-in-place, AI-based security screening to allow fans to walk into a stadium without going through a traditional metal detector or ticket-access point. Using advanced recognition software, fans who opt into the program don’t have to stop for anyone as they head to their seats.
  • “You don’t even have to break stride,” Schlough said. “We need to give this to our fans. The society we’re in today, the world we’re in today — it’s instant gratification. Nobody has the time for anything. Nobody wants to wait.”

Read the original article by clicking here.