GoGuide solution part of The Shed’s reopening plans


The Shed in New York, where live performances are set to resume in April 2021, is implementing GoGuide as part of its reopening strategy. A raft of enhanced health and safety protocols are being deployed to enable the venue to welcome socially distanced audiences of up to 150 seated people. In normal times The Shed’s largest space can accommodate more than 2,000 people.

“Using guidelines developed by the New York State Department of Health, we can begin bringing artists back to work and New Yorkers back to experience indoor events,” said Alex Poots, artistic director and CEO of The Shed. “We hope to provide the cultural industry with an incremental but critical step toward full reopening of the performing arts, health circumstances permitting.”

Developed by Thornton Tomasetti in partnership with PMY Group and Intel, GoGuide utilises existing technology to enhance visitor safety and security. The Shed will be using GoGuide for capacity monitoring across the building, as well as in individual spaces.

“We are extremely pleased to enhance The Shed’s already industry-leading efforts to safely reopen and operate during the pandemic,” said Bill Edwards, associate principal of protective design and security services at Thornton Tomasetti. “With the GoGuide solution, The Shed can integrate existing building systems with the new technology to provide every visitor with a safe and secure experience while enjoying any event.”

In addition to addressing the needs of cultural facilities like The Shed, GoGuide technology has been customised to meet the specific requirements of sports and event facilities, commercial buildings and educational campuses as specified by Thornton Tomasetti’s protective design and security team. GoGuide is designed to provide venues of all sizes with the ability to set and affirm safety standards for visitors and staff.

GoGuide integrates with a facility’s existing security systems. It employs reusable Bluetooth low energy (BLE) and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to support the ticketing process, and pairs with electronic ticketing apps to transmit personal device alerts and instructions.

The BLE/RFID tags can be personalised for members, season ticket holders, staff and visitors with disabilities. They can also be programmed for durations as brief as a single sporting or cultural event or as long as a concert season or academic semester.

“Initially we will be using GoGuide to safely and effectively manage crowd density,” said Ezra Wiesner, chief technology officer at The Shed. “However, the technology also has uses beyond pandemic response. An additional feature of GoGuide is the potential to apply RFID capabilities for real-time interaction with AI-based art exhibitions. The RFID tags are similar to those used by runners to track their time during races. In the context of an art exhibition, patrons could opt-in to carry an RFID-enabled ticket or device that allowed interactive exhibits based on the patron’s location and possibly other data points to be incorporated into the experience. We’re hoping artists see these possibilities and take advantage of these technologies in their work exhibited at The Shed.”

“This solution uses proven technology and is based on our years of experience developing security protocols for cultural centres, arenas, stadiums and public spaces around the world,” said Edwards. “It meets the duty of care responsibilities for the venue owner/operator, while also protecting the personal information of the visitor or patron.”

Click here to read a feature on The Shed, from the 2020 Volume One edition of Auditoria.

Photo: Lorenzo Sanjuan/Thornton Tomasetti

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About Author


Izzy became editor of Auditoria magazine in 2018, having previously served as assistant editor on the title earlier in her career. She is also the editor of Business Jet Interiors International, Railway Interiors International and new launch Cruise Liner Interiors International. Over the course of a decade as a business-to-business magazine editor, Izzy has covered everything from airline catering to car safety technologies, autonomous vehicles and business aviation airports. Outside of work, Izzy loves watercolour painting, live music and travel.

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