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The mobile technology of Super Bowl 50

As one of the biggest stages in all of the United States, the Super Bowl is a prime venue for showcasing athletic prowess, culinary creativity, and of course, technological innovation. From the ads to the apps, this year’s Super Bowl promises to be the most spectacular yet, and key to much of the game’s success this year would appear to lie in mobile technology.

Even when you’re not watching the game, everyone wants you to be on your phone — whether it’s to visit an advertiser’s site in order to watch legally questionable sports commentary, or just to catch up on the latest plays, your mobile device will play a huge role in this year’s match-up between the Broncos and the Panthers.

From the security to the ticketing experience to in-game entertainment, mobile phones will play a huge role in Sunday’s game. For starters, having a digital ticket is now seen as perhaps the most secure method of entry — as TechCrunch points out, it’s not just about whether you bought a ticket, but who you actually are. Whereas paper tickets can be swapped about endlessly, you’re a bit less likely to be passing around your smartphone. And as a result, it looks as though venues are turning increasingly to the mobile ticket. Gone are the days of insisting you print out your pass at the nearby Staples — instead, officials are now asking attendees and ticket-holders to come with phone in hand, and in 2015, nearly 50 percent of NFL teams began to check mobile devices for admission.

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But beyond security, there are also native mobile experiences that will keep fans occupied regardless of whether or not there’s a play on the field. Teams and leagues are turning increasingly to mobile apps that allow for live replays or links to social channels. More interesting still, the heavily mobile-dependent Levi Stadium will allow fans to order food for delivery no matter where they’re seated, and they can even check the length of bathroom lines to maximize the time they spend actually watching the game.

And if being at the Super Bowl in person isn’t enough for you, mobile technology will now allow super fans to access replays, shots from different angles, and as Curbed reports, even “question the refs seconds after the whistle is blown.”

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Much of this technology is provided by VenueNext, a company that has taken a truly integrative approach when it comes to the mobile experience. “We take all the systems of a stadium — parking, ticketing, food services, and others — and they’re all integrated within the app to let the customer create a great fan experience,” CEO John Paul told Mercury News. “At the highest level, we’re trying to help people,” Paul said. And for this Super Bowl and all other major sporting events to follow, it would appear that the vast majority of that help is going to come via your mobile device.