At last year's Worldwide Developers Conference Apple quietly unveiled the iBeacon, limited range two-way wireless technology through Bluetooth 4.0 and "geofencing." It essentially allows devices and receivers that are within range (a few centimeters, a couple meters or more than 10-meters) to transfer information like payment data, exhibit information at a museum or trail shoppers as they walk through the store.
With baseball opening its season this week, several teams are using the technology to improve the fan experience. An article from Engadget spoke with Bill Schlough, the CIO of the San Francisco Giants, of the the teams deploying the iBeacon.
Per Major League Baseball policy, receivers will be placed at every entry and exit point to the stadium. Fans running the MLB At the Ballpark app and with Bluetooth turned on will be checked in to the game like Foursquare. They will than be provided with maps, concession information, video clips and the ability to upgrade to a better seat at the game.
Once checked in, teams can also push tailor-made notifications and relevant offers directly to fans through the app. Schlough didn't say which specific offers the Giants would implement, but did say that this would create a "world of possibilities." This is just a pilot program for this year, which will be run by the league, but teams will gain greater flexibility once the merits of it are proven during this test period.
Apple technology is changing the way many organizations operate in a number of different ways. With the help of an IT consulting firm that specializes in Apple support, any company can test out these devices.