Major League Baseball Launches iBeacons at Petco Park and Dodger Stadium

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MLB & iBeaconMajor League Baseball announced Friday that it has finished installing Apple's iBeacon technology in two of its stadiums, Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The league installed 65 beacons at the stadiums, and will likely use them to send promotional material and coupons to iPhone owners who install the MLB.com at the Ballpark app on their devices.

"Our top priority always has been to build technology to support our clubs and fans with an unrivaled experience in these world-class facilities," Adam Ritter, SVP, Wireless, MLBAM, said in a statement. "The introduction of iBeacon services in our At The Ballpark app will be the latest evolution in this process, giving us another important platform to engage fans with their surroundings and to enjoy customized experiences through their iPhones."

Apple's iBeacon technology uses Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) to communicate with receptive devices that are quite near and push information to those devices. Though it would be ideal for directing people to their seats, Major League Baseball appears to be using them more for information and marketing.

The league is being coy with precisely what info will be pushed to users, Re/code noted that a demonstration of the technology earlier in the year included playing a video for users and sending them coupons when they got near a stadium store.

An update to the app linked above will be released on opening day—you know, because that way people have to mess with it at the last minute, if they remember—that is iBeacon-aware. The season starts in March.

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Comments

mjtomlin

I wish people would clarify exactly what iBeacon is and what it does. It’s no wonder so many get outraged by the possible privacy/tracking issues that could arise.

All iBeacon does is allow for a simplified method of location awareness. The only data included in the protocol is a beacon’s unique identification number (UUID), plus two values used for categorization purposes, and signal strength (which is used to locate distance from the beacon).

iBeacon is just a beacon service. It’s basically a ping - “Here I am!”

The significance of it is in its simplicity and extensive installed base; there are several hundred million iOS devices capable of listening for iBeacons. A number much, much higher than any other platform. All that’s really needed for it to really take off is for the beacons to come down in price.

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