NFL Integrated Apple iBeacons for Sunday’s Super Bowl, did you notice?

Super Bowl seems to have gone really digital this time. Much like most of the other things in life (newspaper, music, games...). Super Bowl XLVIII is the first NFL championship game available entirely through streaming and it got iBeacons as well. So what is the fuss about iBeacons which is important in the context of Payments and Commerce?

In the early days of Febuary 2013, Apple was silently installing and testing a new technology called iBeacons at a number of Major League Baseball Ballparks in the United States. Just a couple of months back we wrote about Apple introducing iBeacons and how it will help Payments industry. On December 6, Apple surprised everyone by starting the use of iBeacons solution across its 254 US retail stores. Now National Football League (NFL) used iBeacons to push offers/directions at this years Super Bowl. Users needed the NFL app installed on their phone for #iBeacons proximity services to work in Times Square & stadium

Apple ibeacon uses BLE (Bluetooth low energy) which opens up a whole new dimension as they are location-aware, context-aware, pervasive small wireless sensors which will know where you are, what are you doing, how long have you spent time at which location, which merchant, and in which isle of merchant store. Beacons are sensors placed inside any physical space that transmits data to your iphone using Bluetooth low energy.

  • NFL iBeacons roll out was limited mostly to notifications and offers such as promoting in-store sales in Manhattan or providing users with the location of the nearest gate in the stadium.
  • The iBeacons worked through the NFL Mobile App.
  • A number of iBeacons had already been put in place at MetLife Stadium and Times Square (venue for Sunday’s Super Bowl).

'The power of this is it really is able to connect the real world, the brick-and-mortar world, with the virtual world with a level of granularity that hasn't existed before,' said Manish Jha, General Manager of Mobile, NFL to the media. The NFL will not connect personal and location data with the Super Bowl test, thereby protecting end-user privacy as the league figures out how to best leverage beacon tech, he added.

iBeacons are throwing some amazing use cases such as this one in art museums !