MLB Will Offer Fans an Interactive Stadium Experience Using Apple iBeacons
Major League Baseball is planning to use the new Apple iBeacons feature in iOS 7 to offer fans visiting their stadiums a new interactive experience, reports Mashable.
Apple's iBeacon technology allows for a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence and provide apps a whole new level of location awareness.
MLB setup a demo at Citi Field in New York City on Thursday to demo the new technology to the press.
"We've been looking at customizing the app based on where you are within the stadium, but GPS is notorious for not working indoors, especially when you are in a building made of steel," Marc Abramson, iOS developer for MLB, told Mashable. "Instead, we are incorporating Apple's new Bluetooth and iBeacon technologies for iOS 7 and couldn't be more excited about the potential."
The free app will recognize when you are at Citi Field and populate a ballpark guide with information about the stadium. As you near the gate your ticket's barcode is displayed on the screen and a map to your seats is provided. Depending on your location in the stadium different points of interest are highlighted. For example, the demo played a video about the history of the stadium while standing near the Mets' apple statue.
Each time you attend a game, you receive a virtual hole punch as you might get with a physical loyalty card. Fans who have attended a lot of games might be reward with coupons or free stuff. Discounts can also be provided as you enter the team store.
"The whole concept is to give the user an individualized experience that is always different," he said. "The next time a fan comes to Citi Field, you might not get a prompt to visit the apple because it knows you've been there. Instead, it will highlight another area of the stadium."
The technology will most likely be implemented next year but it's unclear which stadiums will be the first to be outfitted with iBeacons.