IoT comes to gridiron: Siemens touches-down with the Jacksonville Jaguars
Siemens will bring internet-of-things (IoT) technologies and solutions to the home stadium of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the American fooball team, based in Jakcsonville, Florida.
The German firm has signed a deal with the Florida gridiron team to deploy its MindSphere IoT platform as part of a sensor-fit at the TIAA Bank Field stadium to gather and manage data about the status of the field to improve playing conditions.
It said on-field sensors will communicate with an analytics application on the MindSphere platform, rendered in a dashboard for site managers and ground staff to make decisions about upkeep of the pitch. The stadium and pitch also host entertainment events; the Rolling Stones are scheduled to play in July.
The software will analyse data about temperature, fertilisation, humidity, weather, and light conditions, said Siemens. Machine learning will drive predictive algorithms as the system gathers more data, and forecast issues including turf disease before they arise.
Nick Fedewa, assistant sports field manager for SMG Jacksonville at TIAA Bank Field, said: “Most fans don’t realise, but a stadium’s turf is one of the facility’s most critical components to the athlete performance and game outcomes given the size and athleticism of the players. With many linemen weighing more than 300 pounds, the playing field typically takes hits with every game.”
Dave Hopping, president of Siemens smart infrastructure business in the US, said: “MindSphere will help us make sure the turf is as perfect as it can be for the game and recover faster moving onto the next one. Technology has been one of the best-kept secrets in professional sports, and we’ve seen its impact on a facility’s performance, the visitor experience, and for the players on the field.”
Hopping added: “The work being done by the Jacksonville Jaguars and Siemens is ground-breaking for the industry and brings the power of IoT down to the field to take the player and fan experience to the next level.”
Siemens has supplied building technologies to the TIAA Bank Field stadium for 20 years, including for automation of the facility’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as its lighting, electrical controls, metering, fire alarms, and general maintenance of its mechanical systems.
Siemens said its automation system is required to sequence the switch-on of the stadium’s outdoor video boards (“the world’s largest”) so they do not exceed electrical peak loads. In future, these systems will also be managed in MindSphere.