How iBeacon technology could open up new opportunities for gaming
As a marketeer in the digital gambling world, I endeavour to at least keep pace with technological advances through personal investigation. To that end, I was curious when I heard about the tech brand known as iBeacon technology and the mighty Apple getting involved in this growth area.
My interest piqued when the US patent office released a patent application filed by Apple for an iBeacons Restaurant Ordering and Reservation System. The patent is about a unique system whereby a user of an iOS device may be offered various options/promotions from local restaurants. The system allows for waiting times and seating availability in real time. The remote and in-restaurant ordering systems also allow customers and restaurant staff to place and change food orders before you get there – so a sort of variant of just-in-time technology but for ordering food to eat.
So what are these ‘beacons’? Like many mobile users, when placing a sports bet we always encounter issues with mobile phones. For example, signal coverage problems are still common perhaps due to physical structures like a shopping centre, football stadium or poor Wi-Fi coverage/availability if more than 10 people are connected to the network!
Beacons are low-cost, low-powered transmitters that can find and notify other iOS devices of your location using the latest Bluetooth technology. The beacons could, therefore, be used as a means to push messages to the phone device for precision or location based marketing. In fact, beacons are so popular you now have wearable beacons for live event communications and as safety alerts.
So, consider events like the FIFA World Cup or a Premier League match with a stadium packed with more than 50,000 fans. It’s very plausible to assume a large percentage of those fans would have iPhones with the beacon compatibility or a wearable fashion style version. This could allow gaming operators to push betting information in real-time, based on location, via the Beacon tech at a fraction of the cost of other user acquisition marketing channels. When I mean cost savings, you perhaps don’t require promotional staff handing out leaflets or expensive static or digital advertising hoardings that don’t engage your potential in-stadium customers. It’s even possible to offer subscription-based or premium digital in-play betting content during the match similar to the traditional football program to aid betting decision-making and bet placement via the beacon technology.
iBeacons, both at a smartphone device and wearable level, are going to be game changers. In fact, an estimated 170 to 190million iOS devices are currently capable of being iBeacons! Maybe the next time you see someone promoting a betting company at a sporting event, they may not have any promotional fliers to hand out but could instead be a walking mobile beacon pushing gambling notifications.