Skip to main content

NFL, MLB roll out iBeacon tech for Super Bowl, Opening Day updates

nfl super bowl ibeacon mlb opening day times square
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Detailed by the New York Times this week, both the National Football League and Major League Baseball are making a big push into targeted mobile advertisements based on location. This weekend, anyone walking around Times Square or Metlife Stadium will receive text notifications related to Super Bowl merchandise or directions to specific locations in the user’s vicinity. This is a fairly new technology for smartphone owners, but it’s currently active on all Apple devices that are currently running iOS 7. According to Apple’s developer page, approximately 80 percent of iPhone and iPad owners have upgraded to iOS 7.

Of course, Apple’s iBeacon technology doesn’t require that the user download an application prior to receiving notifications. Prior to this point, users that downloaded a store’s application would need to authorize notifications. Stores have been providing incentive for authorization such as exclusive discounts and deals when the user walks through the front door. However, this allows gives the store the ability to advertise specific products directly to the customer based off location in the store. For instance, a customer in Macy’s may receive a deal for a panini grill when wandering through the housewares section. 

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The NFL isn’t alone in testing out this new technology. The MLB will be installing a couple thousand of these transmitters within two thirds of the stadiums prior to Opening Day. That includes stadiums that host teams such as the Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, L.A. Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants. These beacons will work in conjunction with the MLB’s smartphone app called At The Ballpark.

Conceptually, this will allow teams to provide directions to seats and concessions based off the user’s current location in the ballpark. It could provide further benefit to consumers by offering directions to the shortest lines, both when entering the ballpark and attempting to purchase a beer and a hot dog. It will also tie into rewards programs that include discounts on items sold within the ballpark, but that’s dependent on the promotional team that handles the marketing for each stadium.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hypothetically, the application could provide complete access to all monetary transactions within the ballpark including purchasing tickets. It could also attempt to entice the user to upgrade their seating situation during the game for a small fee. For a regular attendee, the ballpark’s management could use data tracking over several games to determine the best time to send a notification about a deal on beer, assuming the timing of all visits to a concession stand during previous games were taken into account.

Of course, privacy advocates aren’t thrilled about location tracking within retail stores or ballparks. The majority of people that agree to these types of notifications don’t necessarily read the terms that reference how the tracking data will be used in the future. That being said, NFL representatives made it clear that the beacon technology that’s firing out the Super Bowl updates this weekend in New York and New Jersey will not connect that information to personal data related to purchases or location.

Mike Flacy
By day, I'm the content and social media manager for High-Def Digest, Steve's Digicams and The CheckOut on Ben's Bargains…
ClipDart is an on-demand barber app aimed at people of color
ClipDart founder, Kyle Parker.

It’s funny how we can take certain things for granted, like haircuts. Over the course of more than 50 years of living in different cities, different neighborhoods, or even visiting different countries, not once have I ever worried about whether I could find someone who could cut my hair the way I liked. Then again, I’m white.

But if you’re a person of color, it can be an entirely different experience. That’s what Kyle Parker discovered when he left his hometown of Chicago in 2013 to attend Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, population 9,031. While 24% of Grinnell College’s students identify themselves as people of color, fewer than 10% of residents of the city of Grinnell would say the same of themselves.

Read more
Circular confirms its $259 smart ring is coming to the U.S.
best wearables of ces 2022 circular ring

The Circular smart ring is finally going to be available for pre-order on Sunday, February 27, via the Circular website and will cost $259. The wearable tech will be available for presale in European countries (France, Germany, the U.K., and Italy,) the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Pre-orders will go live at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 27. Those who pre-order the smart ring should expect delivery between April and June 2022, according to a Circular press release.

Circular doesn't clarify what ring sizes will be available when presales go live, however, the company has said that seven sizes for both men and women will be available. Digital Trends has reached out for clarification on the available sizes, and will update this article when we hear back. The Circular smart ring also comes in four different colors that can be switched out with replaceable outer shells: Black, rose gold, silver, and gold.

Read more
How to take an ECG with your Apple Watch and see irregular heart notifications
ecg app apple watch

The ECG app is one of the most vital features of the Apple Watch, allowing you to see an electrocardiogram of your heart whenever you want. Along with this, the Apple Watch can notify you of irregular heart rhythms.

Read more