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NBA team uses iBeacons to push seat upgrades

updated 12:59 pm EDT, Fri March 21, 2014

Low Bluetooth use may hurt practicallity of tech

The Golden State Warriors have become the first NBA team to deploy Apple's iBeacon technology at their stadium, the Oracle Arena, according to Bloomberg. At a recent game, some people who bought cheaper tickets received notifications on their phones, asking them if they wanted to pay extra to upgrade. Several dozen iBeacons have been installed by a company called Sonic Notify.

Other major US sports leagues have already dipped their toes into iBeacons. The MLB was the first, and is now in the process of outfitting 20 baseball stadiums with the technology. In February, a temporary iBeacon network was set up in New York City for the NFL's Super Bowl.

Sonic Notify itself, though, suggests that iBeacons may have just a small impact in venues like the Oracle Arena. Visitors must not only have a phone with Bluetooth Low Energy support, but keep Bluetooth on; the firm estimates that under 30 percent of people with Bluetooth LE on their phone leave Bluetooth going. Warriors fans must moreover have the team's app installed, and luck into attending a game that isn't sold out. The team's senior digital director notes that there are rarely more than 50 extra tickets available per game.

by MacNN Staff



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