ASM Global Implements Facial Recognition at Venues Through PopID Partnership

Facial recognition has been a somewhat controversial technology, but it has gained more widespread adoption over the past few years, thanks in large part to the iPhone’s Face ID unlocking mechanism. Facial recognition presents an opportunity to further streamline and enhance entry to events and has important security benefits, as long as fans trust that the operator is keeping their data secure.

Red Rocks, for example, recently scrapped plans to implement Amazon’s palm scanning technology following pushback from artists and activists about Amazon’s data privacy policies. However, that doesn’t mean that biometric scanning technology is all bad.

Global venue operating company ASM Global has begun deploying facial verification networks at its venues to enhance the event experience through a partnership with secure facial recognition company PopID. The first venue to be outfitted was San Diego’s Pechanga Arena, which fans were able to experience starting last week. Next up will be Fresno’s Save Mart Center, Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena, and Ontario’s Toyota Arena.

“The deployment of this technology in our venues represents the beginning of a revolutionary change in the entertainment world,” said ASM Global CEO and President Ron Bension in a statement. “The PopID platform will allow us to eliminate the dependence on cards and phones at our events and ensure that every guest interaction is secure, speedy and seamless.”

Phones and wristbands have long been the standard for paperless, contactless venue entry, but facial recognition promises to make entry scanning and other transactions even easier. PopID’s technology also allows for frictionless payment verification in addition to ticket authentication.

Its partnership with ASM represents the “initial steps to truly revolutionize the event experience of the future with highly secure, phoneless entry and digital payments,” according to John Miller, CEO of PopID and chairman of Cali Group. Fans who choose to opt in can enroll with PopID from their phone by taking a selfie and will then have the option of requesting facial verification at the gate when they arrive at the venue.

“The seamless experience will continue at concession stands,” continued Miller, “where a guest can choose to ‘check in’ with facial verification at the point of sale, enabling them to instantly see personalized food and beverage recommendations and order and pay without the need for IDs, credit cards or phones.”