Realife Tech CEO Adam Goodyer: “The utility of mobile apps for venues and stadiums is going to be huge when we come back following COVID.” (Courtesy Realife Tech)

App can deliver personalized COVID safety info to venue guests

London based company Realife Tech uses mobile data science to understand consumer behavior in venues. The technology can help with making customers feel safe about going to live events again.

VenuesNow reached out to Realife Tech CEO Adam Goodyer to find out exactly how.

The company has introduced the COVID Safety Hub, which is designed to do three things: reduce crowding, i.e., the amount of time people are standing in queues; make it easier to find products on site, so guests don’t have to aimlessly wander around the building; and inform guests about the best time to arrive at, enter and exit the venue.

In case the event takes place at a stadium, the app will suggest parking spots next to the entrance closest to the designated seats.

A venue could set different times for entry and exit for different ticket categories, thus spreading out the number of people arriving, and deliver that information via the app.

All of these features reduce “unnecessary contact” with others, according to Goodyer, who summed it up: “Realife Tech’s system is based on personalization of information to fans. Knowing and understanding a particular fan, what ticket they’ve got, what entrance they’re going to be coming in through, where they are within the stadium or venue environment at any one time, and the types of things that they’re going to want to see.”

He believes, that “the utility of mobile apps for venues and stadiums is going to be huge when we come back following COVID, because you pull in ticket information, and then deliver a personalized safety feed for each individual ticket holder.

“When you get in, it won’t show you all the different bars and food offerings throughout the stadium. It will be very specific to where you can order from, it will show you all the products that are available in the areas that are near to you. You then make that order, the order goes through, and the people behind the concession points can activate when the order is ready, send you and automatic notification for you to come up at that specific time and collect it,” Goodyer explained.

The amount of orders coming in can be throttled as required. The items could be kept in a locker or separate area to avoid further contact. The app will only notify customers to come and collect their items when it is safe to do so.

Then there’s crowd density management. The app offers venues the ability to monitor crowds within a particular environment, and then send automatic notifications to both mobile devices but also key operational staff members, who can then go to those areas and “politely, but clearly,” according to Goodyer, tell people that there’s too much of a build up in the area.

Since Goodyer had the idea if improving people’s gig-going experience through the use of data back in 2013, and launching his company in 2015, Realife Tech has been all about personalizing what people see, what they can buy, and how they’re communicated with – features that came in really useful when building the COVID Safety Hub. Other areas, particularly the linking of crowd density management with messaging and communication, as well as further development of the mobile ordering functionality to ensure that the throughput can be controlled by the concessionaire, were developed specifically for the hub.

Goodyer said his team relied on feedback from some of Realife Tech’s clients, which include AEG, Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the Indianapolis 500 in the U.S.

One of the most important factors, if not the most important factor, for the return of pubic life will be fans’ confidence. As long as people are afraid of going out to gigs, venues and promoters can come up will all the creative event and distancing concepts they want, it won’t make a difference.

“Our part in that, as well as helping with some core operations, is reassuring fans that their safety is being taken seriously,” said Goodyer, adding, “What we are seeing is that fans want to have that information to hand: when should I arrive, how should I get in, where should I go, how am I going to be looked after.

“When you’re about to go, you want to almost have a safety check list. We’ve set up functionality whereby each attendee has to complete a check list on the mobile app. Only once that checklist has been completed, and the fan confirms that they haven’t tested positive, that they have face masks – whatever the requirements in that particular jurisdiction – only then will it allow the app to access the mobile ticket. These things are crucial in making the fans feel safe,” Goodyer explained.

Various governments have launched or are working on their own apps. The UK, for instance, attempted to put a contact tracing app into circulation, but the politicians wanted personalized information to be held in a centralized database – not just the app’s user’s information, but of everyone they’ve come into contact with.

Realife Tech stands with the approach Apple and Google have taken: “You don’t need centralized and personal, identifiable information. You just need to be able to identify a device, link that back, and provide information solely on that. We’ve linked into Google’s and Apple’s SDKs for that type of technology.

“That’s how we would see it happening: use the technology that’s already in place, allow each individual app to do that and report back, rather than going through a centralized approach,” Goodyer explained, adding, “obviously we would work within whatever legislation is in place in that jurisdiction.”

Goodyer thinks, the measures Realife Tech is putting in place now across the board are going to be useful post-COVID as well, seeing that people will still appreciate the opportunity of not having to search endlessly for the products they desire.

“My hope is that what has is put in place as a necessity for safety, also carries forward to a better way that we can experience live events,” Goodyer concluded.

Realife Tech is currently in the middle of launching in the U.S. It recently rebranded from LiveStyled and secured a $7.1 million funding round led by Virgo Investment Group, and backed by strategic investors Superfly Ventures and Stadia Ventures.

The company works with over 60 of the world’s sports teams and entertainment destinations including The O2, London; Tottenham Hotspur; LA Galaxy; Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Outside Lands Festival.