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Sports Applications Technology

Qualcomm Oversees iBeacon Rollout in MLB Ballparks

March 07, 2014


Qualcomm’s Retail Solutions subsidiary has been selected by MLB (News - Alert) Advanced Media (MLBAM) to act as the interactive media and Internet company for Major League Baseball. In particular, Qualcomm will supply iBeacon hardware to help ensure the completion of the MLBAM’s initial rollout of the technology in 20 ballparks in time for Opening Day of the upcoming 2014 MLB season.

Although beacon technology is common in payment systems, the possibilities with iBeacon, or any beacon platform, are far broader in scope. After all, iBeacons use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to transmit data and messages to mobile devices within a range of about 100 feet, making them well-suited to any location-based application.

In the case of the MLB, baseball fans will be able to use iBeacon technology within the “ At The Ballpark” app once tha app’s 2014 update is rolled out in time for Opening Day of the new season. Qualcomm (News - Alert) Retail Solutions has been assisting MLBAM with installation and training on how to optimally deploy the proximity beacons being used — Gimbal proximity beacons built and configured to Apple’s (News - Alert) iBeacon specification, to be exact — across the ballparks.

"We are excited to be collaborating with MLBAM to complete the broad deployment of our Gimbal proximity beacons across the majority of MLB stadiums," Brian Dunphy, senior director of business development for Qualcomm Retail Solutions, said. "Gimbal proximity beacons help enable sports venues to turn into smart venues, enhancing the stadium experience and providing the ball clubs with better ways to serve their fans by creating a digital sixth sense."

The first two ballparks to receive iBeacon hardware were Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Both of these have been permanently equipped with a total of 65 Gimbal proximity beacons with iBeacon technology.

Qualcomm Retail Services has been collaborating with MLBAM for more than a year on the development and potential used cases of iBeacon technology for baseball fans.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker