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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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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