Major League Baseball is working closely with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on a project that uses iBeacon indoor mapping technology, which incorporates Bluetooth Smart and iOS 7 software. The goal of the trial is to develop different ways to interact with fans at the stadium.
In an article by Mashable, Gary Abramson, iOS developer for MLB, said that the organization is looking at ways to customize the MLB app and is using iBeacon instead of GPS because GPS doesn't work very well indoors, particularly in buildings made of steel.
Some examples of the type of customization MLB is considering include providing the app owner with details about the stadium when they arrive at the location. Or when the fan is near the gate, the barcode of their ticket appears on their smartphone screen as well as a map to the location of their seat. Another example of customization is having the app programmed to provide different highlights of the stadium, such as the history of the building.
iBeacon was introduced with Apple's iOS 7 update earlier this month; however, the company didn't provide a lot of details about the technology. Experts say that iBeacon opens up a whole new dimension by allowing your apps to be alerted when users enter them. For example, if you have an iPhone outfitted with iBeacon your phone would know when you enter a certain retailer and that retailer can then transmit to your phone customized coupons or prompt recommendations.
Apple has widely been credited with Bluetooth Smart's skyrocketing growth. According to ABI Research, the growth of Bluetooth Smart and Smart Ready devices has grown from zero shipments in 2010 to more than 1 billion shipments in 2013. The research firm attributes that growth to Bluetooth Smart's adoption in smartphones, tablets and other portable electronic devices. However, the company also said that the wider vendor community is embracing Bluetooth smart and it's emerging as a key wireless technology in a whole range of devices from heart rate monitors to door locks.
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