Baseball's San Francisco Giants look for iBeacon to knock one out of the park

Baseball's San Francisco Giants look for iBeacon to knock one out of the park
20 out of the 30 Major League ball parks will be using Apple's iBeacon technology in order to bring fans closer to the game. For those not familiar with iBeacon, it is a low-power device that uses Bluetooth to send messages to those running a particular app on their Apple iPhone or Apple iPad. Because iBeacon is low powered, it can send out messages specifically targeted to a certain area.

Probably because of its location, San Francisco's AT&T Park has always been a step ahead of other stadiums. It was among the first to bring Wi-Fi connectivity to fans, and there are 1289 Wi-Fi antennas throughout the venue. In addition, during the off-season, new LTE backhaul was added so that more fans could enjoy a 4G connection during a game. As per MLB instructions, all entry and exit points of AT&T Park have an iBeacon installed. This way, fans with an iOS device running the MLB At the Ballpark app and with Bluetooth powered on, will get "checked in" when they go through the turnstile at the stadium.

MLB is controlling the whole experience for now, and has decided to hold off on the hard sell. Fans will receive a welcome message when they enter the stadium, an offer to upgrade their seats, and perhaps a coupon saving them some money on a hot dog and a Coke. Once the technology is proven, each team will be able to add their own content.

Of all the major sports leagues in the U.S., Major League Baseball has embraced mobile technology the most, with the NFL running a close second. With the season starting in earnest this weekend, we should soon have some feedback from baseball fans on whether the iBeacon experience enhances a trip to the ballpark and adds to the fun, or if it is a distraction.


source: Engadget, BizTech

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11 Comments

1. LordCaedus

Posts: 85; Member since: Nov 01, 2013

Once again major sports have Android and WP striking out.

2. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Damn that was bad, but can't really expect much from trolls. Still on the topic, I don't see how it will be a distraction, and likely can add to the experience. Also, coupons never hurt, that's just always a good idea.

4. LordCaedus

Posts: 85; Member since: Nov 01, 2013

I was not trying to troll. I am just saying that they are catering just to iOS users for this and give discounts to them but giving nothing to us Android users. That seems to be the trend across all major sports for some reason.

7. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

It's just basic economics. Apple has given them a simple system to use, and they can easily serve to that platform and hit every iOS device in the house. Even if Google integrates something like this, they have to rely on OEMs to facilitate, and to a lesser extent, so does MSFT.

9. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Not really economics...there are just as many Android users in the house. MLB made a choice to work with Apple on this instead of a one system works for all! I don't support it! Either way, any alienation/isolation/segregation is usually not the best path. Come on MLB, it's Bluetooth! Almost every friggin phone over a year old has BT 4.0

3. Notsosuperdave

Posts: 29; Member since: May 15, 2013

but who has an iPhone? no one if i can help it lol.

5. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Here's the coupon : Get a hotdog and soda for only 14.95!

6. Sauce unregistered

Or one beer for the price of 3!

8. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Yes, the prices suck, but that is every sporting event. Anything to save is welcome, and ATT Park is an awesome venue (And I'm even an A's fan!).

10. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

And how many versions of iphone will be able to use it? i5/i5s only? If the 4 and 4s can run it then there should be 0 reason why an Android phone can't run it and use a similar App. I'm thinking the MLB is smart enough not to isolate 1/2 it's fans on something like this and will certainly hear it from the fans. I expect to hear an alternative solution for Android shortly or this will be a Major League fail.

11. imyourpapi

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 04, 2014

Att park is awesome!

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