Edit ModuleShow Tags

Apple's iBeacon Arrives at Target Field


Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins.

Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Perhaps it’s a little-known sign that Apple is in fact developing a line of wearable technology. This spring, Apple is rolling out a portion of its latest technology, called iBeacon. And one of the first places you can experience it is at the ballpark.

So what is iBeacon? I suppose you have to look to science fiction to see the tech to come. Star Trek foreshadowed computer discs and flip-phone communicators. So where do we look for an example of iBeacon? Some have likened it to technology depicted in Minority Report. If you’ve seen the film, you may remember when Tom Cruise’s character walks through the mall, signage along the way recognizes him, welcomes him by name, and makes specific product offers as he walks by. Well, that version of the future may soon no longer look as foreign.

iBeacon’s are nothing more that tiny transmitters that send simple signals. Apple simply calls them a location service; it’s specific applications responding to them that do all of the work. Instead of using longitude and latitude to determine your location, iBeacon uses a low-powered Bluetooth signal to an iOS device (iOS 7 or later) to estimate your proximity. Soon these “beacons” could be installed in retail outlets and other public locations just like the 2054 world depicted in Minority Report. Specific apps will use the technology in a store to determine your location and direct you to, let’s say, a checkout or other services.

Among the first to rollout such technology is Major League Baseball. Twenty ballparks, including Target Field, have been equipped with the iBeacons. Even without the latest technology, MLB's At the Ballpark provides guests with many additional services, including parking information, real-time player stats, stadium concourse maps and other features. Now, iPhones users equipped with the app will begin to receive notifications when they arrive near the stadium to check-in. Visitors will also receive exclusive offers as they move about the stadium. New features are under development as well, and will be released throughout the season.

But here’s the catch. You must have iBeacon apps installed on your device in order for them to work—in this case MLB At the Ballpark. Yet, preliminary reports indicate that you don’t need to have the app up and running in order for it to work. Instead, messages from an iBeacon automatically appear on your phone’s home screen, much like a message for a missed call might look. That’s why I believe wearable technology is right around the corner for Apple. Not to turn a travel post into an iWatch rumor report, but it’s hard to imagine that such tech could completely reach its potential without wearables. Who wants to go digging in their pocket for their phone every time a new message buzzes as you walk by another beacon? Such technology could greatly enhance any travel experience, not just at the ballpark.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Hit the Road for a Fall Weekend in Alexandria, Minnesota

When fall comes around in Alexandria, Minnesota, the leaves aren’t the only things that are colorful. The fall festivals and events in Alexandria brighten up the first chilly months and give life to the city that lives on the lake during its summer.

Lantern Light Festival Celebrates Chinese Culture at Canterbury Park

Shakopee is the temporary home of dazzling lanterns illuminated in lights, Chinese performances, and a unique family-friendly experience.

Get Ready for a Sweat Fest

ALTR’s fitness classes in Minneapolis' North Loop are a high-octane thrill ride with a one-way ticket to shredded

Photographing the City on Your Lunch Break

Local photographer Wayne Moran leads afternoon tours through picture-perfect Minneapolis

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: October

Help out mothers and children dealing with homelessness, fight against cancer, and contribute to a north Minneapolis bakery with the Cookie Cart.

Best Minnesota Town Last Call for Votes

Help one of these 10 cities advance to the finals for a chance to win a party in their town, $50,000 toward an advertising campaign, and an editorial feature in Minnesota Monthly magazine.

New Fall Drinks at Tattersall Harvestival

The NE Minneapolis distillery features four apple-based drinks to celebrate autumn

Small Press, Big Impact: Graywolf's 2nd Literary Salon

Graywolf invited writers Layli Long Soldier, Carmen Maria Machado, and Danez Smith to the stage to challenge the status quo

New Places to Shop and Eat at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

MSP Airport's revamp just bumped it up to 6th best in North America—now with indoor food trucks, local brews, therapy dogs, and a golfing simulator

From Writer to Mid-Wife: St. Paul Writing Workshops Highlight Strength in Vulnerability This Month

Leading workshops through October, St. Paul author Ellen Sue Stern on the healing of writing

DNR Predicts Unusually Vibrant Fall Colors: Find the Best Spots

The MN DNR is predicting an especially colorful fall season due to ideal summer weather conditions. We found five spots around the state—including Lanesboro and Lake Superior—with great autumn views.

Duluth Indie Bookstore Celebrates Opening

Zenith Bookstore opens in the face of Amazon and free two-day shipping—because this Duluth retired couple knows that people love shopping small

What It Means to Light Up the St. Anthony Lock

A colorful light show fills the now-defunct lock with its own history

Save the Date for Unveiled Bridal Show September 17

Unveiled isn't just a bridal show, it's a fun and memorable experience.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags