Social Distancing, Crowd Management, Pivot – some of the words which are getting discussed now in length while talking about the resumption of personal and professional lives.
The main talking point for the resumption of personal and professional normalcy is completely dependent on ‘Social Distancing‘. How can this be ensured and make everyone feel comfortable?
Can your business effectively pivot and become relevant to the current market needs?
WaitTime , the startup which provides real time crowd movement information with the help of Artificial Intelligence, was launched around 4.5 years ago. The product was designed for use in Sports stadiums or arenas to help reduce the waiting time of spectators.
I had interviewed Zachary Klima, the founder of WaitTime, last year to capture his Startup story.
When Covid almost brought everything to stand still, one of the sectors which saw a complete shutdown was Sports.
It was “shutters down” for everything around Sports except for eGames. For a startup like WaitTime which was completely focusing on Sports, it meant zero business.
From almost out of action to the center of all action, how WaitTime timed its move to perfection?
In a conversation with Zack last week, I got to understand how WaitTime mastered the art of pivoting. By using the Crowd intelligence solution in the best possible ways to ascertain Social Distancing & there by Crowd management, WaitTime was innovative to be at the center of all action related to this.
You can watch the conversation on YouTube: PAC Talks with VJCV
You can listen to the complete interview (we spoke about how the stadiums will be when the Sporting action resumes, Olympics 2021, World Cup 2022, Retail sector, Tourism, Hotels, Conferences, etc.) : Podcast: Spotify, Google, Apple
“We were thinking about other solutions before Covid hit. But once Covid hit it definitely sped up everything. So we just expedited that process.” said Zack.
Zack also emphasized the fact on how the priority has changed at different organizations. “In the global pandemic that we are in, our product transformed from a fan experience side of the world to an operational health & safety side. So we are in this transition of “nice to have” solution to “need to have” solution.
Responding to my question of how WaitTime has developed the product for the retail segment, Zack replied “We built another algorithm. It is applicable for shopping malls, grocery stores, etc. It is an entry and exit software. It will count the people going in and going out at the same time. We will know the real time occupancy. “
In regard with the restart of sporting events, Zack added “We have been identified as the technology to help the resurgence of sports.”
This can also be a great platform to have a focused digital fan engagement.
It is nice to see a brand turning around its USP to match the market needs.
WaitTime was in the market as a solution to reduce the waiting time and now the same brand is making waves by helping Sporting arenas, retail segment, tourism, mass transit, government bodies, etc. to control the crowd movement. It is the go to solution now for crowd management. WaitTime provides crucial data which can be used to control and make people wait before entering into any premises.
One good feature about WaitTime is the anonymity of the data captured by its cameras. There is no facial recognition and anonymity of the person is maintained even while capturing the crowd intelligence data.
This startup had got associated with major sporting arenas and leagues like Sydney Cricket Ground, Melbourne Cricket Ground, NBA, NFL, US Tennis Association, etc. even before the start of Covid.
Now with crowd management being the key to bring back the normal days , I hope to see technology based solutions like WaitTime to aid government bodies, tourism boards, tourist attractions, public transportation, hotels, etc. to plan the phased reopening of premises.
Artificial Intelligence based solutions which can provide real time information will be critical to bring back normalcy at the earliest.