updated 10:51 am EDT, Fri September 27, 2013
League collaborating with Apple since February
Major League Baseball is among the initial parties taking advantage of iOS 7's "iBeacon" indoor mapping feature, a report reveals. The company says it plans to enhance its At the Ballpark app so that visitors to MLB stadiums receive new information as they wander around. It notes that it has been working with Apple on the idea since February, and that it staged a demonstration at New York City's Citi Field on Thursday.
As a person approaches a stadium, At the Ballpark detects the location, and begins populating a guide with unique information. Approaching gates the app will automatically pop-up a digital ticket's barcode, if available, and display a seat map. Other sites in a stadium will trigger different effects -- at Citi Field, for instance, approaching the famous Mets apple statue will launch a video about the history of the stadium. MLB is also experimenting with features like digital loyalty cards that provide free food, and discounts on team merchandise.
Citi Field is currently the only stadium testing iBeacon, and a formal launch there may have to wait until 2014. "A lot of teams have expressed interest so far," says Marc Abramson, an iOS developer for MLB. "It will truly change the way you experience games, both at your home stadium and while visiting other ballparks."