MLBAM Holds Demonstration Of New Technology Planned For At The Ballpark App
MLBAM Thursday conducted a demonstration at Citi Field of its planned integration of Apple's new iBeacon mobile technology into the At The Ballpark application. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, iBeacon allows users of its Apple's new iOS 7 operating system to have highly location-specific information and offers surface to device lock screens. MLBAM is using iBeacon to welcome fans immediately as they enter ballpark grounds, send food and beverage discounts as fans head toward their seats, offer merchandise coupons, upload mobile ticket barcodes, infuse loyalty programs, unlock exclusive video content, and provide other targeted information. Unlike wide variances seen in the effectiveness of GPS-based targeting, iBeacon can generally locate individual users within several feet of where they actually are. There is also no interference with WiFi or cellular signals, as the BLE technology operates on a different piece of wireless spectrum. MLBAM has quietly developed its use of the technology over the past year, only beginning to talk openly about it now as iBeacon and iOS 7 have been released to the public. A full integration is planned around the league for the '14 season, with clubs to have a large degree of latitude for individual customizations. "This allows us to really enhance At The Ballpark and provide a really frictionless experience at the ballpark," said MLBAM Dir of Wireless Product Development Eric O'Brien. "There's very little limit in the types of things we can do with this technology." Because of the ability to pinpoint fan locations through iBeacon, MLBAM's use of the technology is also expected to heighten data mining of fan migration patterns. "We can learn a lot about how long fans spend in various areas, how long it takes to from one place to another, and so forth," O'Brien said.