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Mashable reports that Major League Baseball has demo’d using Apple’s iBeacon indoor mapping technology to provide live baseball fans with a whole range of personalised and interactive experiences when attending games at stadiums.

An update to its At the Ballpark app provides both practical assistance and additional entertainment and interest.

By loading the free app when you get off the subway and head towards the stadium, it immediately knows you are at Citi Field. It populates a ballpark guide with information specific to the stadium, so if you were to enter Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park, the entire experience and data wouldn’t be the same.

As you near the gates, the app displays your ticket’s barcode on screen, as well as a map of where the seats are located. If tickets are loaded into Apple Passbook or purchased online through certain ticketing partners, the app will automatically pull them up … 

As you reach points of interest within the stadium, the app can offer additional information and entertainment in the form of relevant info snippits, images and video.

The app also logs each visit, allowing teams to reward regular fans with coupons for small treats, like a free soda or hot dog.

The system is being trialled with the Mets, for a likely launch in 2014, with other teams likely to follow suit.

iBeacon is an extension of Bluetooth LE (low energy) designed specifically for indoor positioning: think of it as extremely accurate GPS for indoor locations. Because the signals are extremely short-range, your phone knows exactly where you are when you come within range of a particular beacon. The beacon identifier can then trigger the activation of content on your phone, either already stored within the app or downloaded via 4G.

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8 Responses to “MLB demos using Apple’s iBeacon technology to deliver personalised, interactive stadium experiences”

  1. This sounds great. I think iBeacons are the most promising feature of iOS 7, and this is a promising start.

  2. FYI: Personalized not personalised.

  3. herb02135go says:

    What is the problem this technology solves? Is there an issue with people paying attention and reading signs, rather than looking at their phone?
    Is the fan experience too inexpensive, and there needs to be more enticement to spend?

    I love baseball but the stadium experience is ruined by people who don’t pay attention to the game or the fact that their are oter people around them.
    How about an app that shocks people who insist on returning to their seat while action is going on? I’d pay for that!

    • Don’t get your panties in a twist now.

    • Problems it solves off the bat:
      1) Where can I find a beer that ISN’T Coors Light?
      2) Where the #*(%^)#()P are my seats, and how do I get there before the action starts?
      3) (And this is a stretch…) I want to buy popcorn from the nice man walking up and down the aisle, but I don’t want to throw money and hope I get the right change back. If you both had an iBeacon enabled device, you could send the payment (plus a tip if you were so inclined) to that specific vendor, just based on the one being nearest to you. You could even notify a vendor that you wanted a hot dog/soda/etc. and have it delivered to you easily.

      As far as looking at signs: Signage is often terrible and somewhat confusing. I fancy myself a stellar navigator who is well aware of the world around him, and I’ve gotten lost in a few stadiums before. They’re HUGE. Having an app that directs me to where I need to go would be unbelievably helpful.

      Having to spend less time figuring out where I need to go, where to get something to eat that I’d like to eat, and finding my seats = more time spent enjoying the game and less time looking for signs or wandering around trying to find some garlic fries (Looking at YOU Safeco field…)