La Major League Baseball va tester la fonctionnalité iBeacons d’iOS 7

La Major League Baseball aime être en avance et tester de nouveaux outils et plateformes notamment sur mobile, il est donc peu surprenant d’apprendre que cette semaine la MLB a réalisé les premiers tests de l’intégration d’une nouvelle fonctionnalité d’iOS 7, iBeacons.

iBeacons

En deux mots, iBeacons est une fonctionnalité annoncée en juin dernier lors de la dernière WorldWide Developers Conference qui permet l’envoi de datas aux iPhones dans un périmètre restreint. iBeacons utilise le « Bluetooth Low Energy » (ou Bluetooth 4.0), une technologie qui permet de déclencher des alertes dans une application via des capteurs placés (des Beacons) à proximité de l’iPhone (environ 50 mètres). Cela ouvre donc une nouvelle porte en terme de marketing de proximité (le fameux « location-based marketing » comme on aime l’utilise dans le monde du marketing et de la publicité) et donc d’augmentation de revenus pour les marques.

Jeudi dernier, la division interactive de la MLB, la Major League Baseball Advance Media (MLBAM) a fait la démonstration de l’intégration d’iBeacons dans son application Ballpark, au Citi Field de New York. La MLBAM a montré l’apparition des bons de réduction dès qu’un consommateur franchissait le pas d’une des boutiques de l’arène. Il y a certes encore un peu de travail pour assurer que les Beacons fonctionnent correctement en cas de foule mais les premiers résultats sont déjà très satisfaisants. Voici une vidéo de CNET car des images valent 1000 mots :

Mais ce n’est que le début. Pour Matthew Gould, porte-parole de MLBAM, « les bons de réduction ne sont que le tout sommet de l’iceberg. » (iBeacons) « offre la possibilité de créer une expérience immersive et presque entièrement personnalisable sur mobile et donc d’améliorer ce que nous faisons de mieux à savoir servir les fans de chaque club à travers la technologie. » A noter qu’à date, iBeacons n’a pas été mis en avant plus que ça par Apple, le nom de cette technologie ne figurant que dans une slide de présentation lors de la WWDC.

wwdc2013.ibeacons

Le porte-parole a ajouté que l’intégration de la fonctionnalité iBeacons dans l’application mobile At The Ballpark sera réalisée d’ici le début de la prochaine saison de baseball et permettra donc d’aller un cran plus loin puisque l’application à date permet aux utilisateurs de se « checker » dans un stade et de recevoir des réductions dans les concessions et boutiques du stade et de publier du contenu sur leurs plateformes sociales.

Et dernier point, forcément intéressant, le développement d’iBeacons offrira des expériences 100% personnalisables par stade de baseball.

Enfin une bonne nouvelle avec cette utilisation de la technologie au service de l’expérience du fan, qui est l’un des sujets et discussions récurrents des sponsors du sport moderne. Peut-être sommes-nous au début d’une nouvelle ère avec l’arrivée d’iBeacons et le développement des stades connectés ?

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