NFL Brings iBeacon Technology to Times Square and MetLife Stadium for the Super Bowl
Apple's iBeacon technology that was introduced with iOS 7 has been rapidly deployed in recent months. Today, the New York Times is reporting that the NFL has installed iBeacons in MetLife Stadium, which is hosting the Super Bowl this Sunday, as well as in Times Square.
The alerts will help users find the closest entry gate, or where the restroom is in the stadium. Those in Times Square will be able to find their way around town or where they can grab their favorite team's jersey.
For now, the alerts are mostly limited to practical news (like the nearest entry gate) or promoting in-store sales (say, for your favorite chocolate) in the first wave of establishments using it. But already the technology has privacy advocates and legal experts brimming with concern about the implications. Smartphone users could potentially be spammed with advertisements, they say, and a company that collects the data might be inclined to sell it.
A mobile app called N.F.L. Mobile will enable football fans who visit the New York area for the Super Bowl to get pop-up messages on their cellphones, tailored to their exact location. The system uses a series of transmitter beacons scattered through Midtown Manhattan to deliver various messages depending on the cellphone user’s location. The system will also be in use at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
While convenient, some users are concerned about their privacy. However, the NFL claims they will not connect personal and location data with its Super Bowl 'experiment.'