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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Apple iBeacon Leads You to SALES

Major League Baseball already plans to use iBeacon next year to customize fans’ experiences at its ballparks, through the At The Ballpark app. In a demo earlier this year, MLB officials showed how the app can offer special features based on users’ location in a stadium, such as coupons in the souvenir shop or a video that plays near landmarks.

Maybe MLB can improve the app by alerting umpires to pitches actually near the strike zone???

boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: December 07, 2013 at 11:46 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ballparks, technology

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   1. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 08, 2013 at 02:54 AM (#4613376)
iBeacons are a specific implementation of low power Bluetooth, and low power Bluetooth is pretty interesting (and should kill off NFC before it even gets started). It's also an area where iOS is well ahead of Android so Apple should be well motivated to make and help developers make useful applications using it.

That said, the iBeacons API is pretty limited and data is heavily siloed to the app using it. I built some app features around it, but what I really wanted was to detect other apps iBeacons and that proved impossible. Only detecting my own users wasn't useful for many applications. So I think its still waiting for a developer with a brilliant insight to make it useful to users as something other than a cool demo
   2. Dan Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:50 AM (#4613392)
I completely agree that the low power Bluetooth and beacons (i or otherwise) will make NFC completely superfluous. I think the most interesting application is setting up beacons for POS transactions (in place of similar NFC technology). I know Paypal has already demonstrated this technology already.
   3. Swedish Chef Posted: December 08, 2013 at 06:45 AM (#4613399)
iBeacons are a specific implementation of low power Bluetooth, and low power Bluetooth is pretty interesting (and should kill off NFC before it even gets started).

Those are very complementary technologies, and NFC is already huge (like just about every bus card in Europe, and in Japan its used for every strange thing that can be thought of). NFC's main use case is the one-touch* interaction that Bluetooth LE can't replicate. In fact, setting up a Bluetooth connection is most easily done with NFC (not that you need to ensure that the connection is legit to just blast the poor guy with the phone with ads; I more thinking about desirable uses of BT, the only thing about iBeacon that matters to me is how easy it is to turn off).

*) That is, it is the user that takes the action, nothing is triggered unless the user makes a physical motion, there is no need to confirm things on the phone.
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:04 AM (#4613403)
As a consumer, I have no idea why anyone would want to use this. I'm perfectly capable of looking things up on my own if I want to know them - I don't need to hand over control of my device to some third-party app and agree to be tracked within the store and barraged with ads.

This is some real next-level dystopian ####, right here.
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4613418)
This sounds almost exactly like a story George Saunders wrote a few years ago. Weird. In his story it's illegal not to have this kind of app, though.
   6. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 10, 2013 at 01:09 AM (#4614861)
NFC's main use case is the one-touch* interaction that Bluetooth LE can't replicate. In fact, setting up a Bluetooth connection is most easily done with NFC (not that you need to ensure that the connection is legit to just blast the poor guy with the phone with ads; I more thinking about desirable uses of BT, the only thing about iBeacon that matters to me is how easy it is to turn off).


Low power bluetooth can work when you walk into the building. I tested it on iPhones/iPads and could detect in a large building over 100 meters apart. There is no need to "touch" anything (certainly not to setup a bluetooth connection), which leads to a wider variety of uses.

Low power Bluetooth actually isn't really Bluetooth, it works far better (no more manual connecting).

NFC is already huge (like just about every bus card in Europe, and in Japan its used for every strange thing that can be thought of


Not really, NFC has never taken off at all in the US, and is likely to be dropped in Europe/Japan as low power bluetooth provides far more functionality. Only a minority of mobile devices supports NFC at all right now and the number isn't likely to grow to a standard unless Apple adopts it.

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