New game-day technology will give fans home advantage

By Alicia Kouparitsas11 Feb 2015

Sports fans can say goodbye to crowd chaos, maddening queues and frustrating, maze-like stadiums with a new range of mobile apps set to revolutionise the game-day experience.

Instead, via their smartphones, sports-goers will be told when they’re on TV, that their favourite half-time beverage is waiting at the bar, and steered towards the nearest queue-less loo before receiving turn-by-turn directions back to their seats.

Digital mapping specialist MapData Services (MDS) is driving the best-of-breed indoor navigation technology behind the apps, which is flexible enough to be used in outdoor locations as well.

MDS General Manager Cassandra Barker said the cutting-edge technology would take the game-day experience into a new league.

“Once a fan has opted to participate, the technology can use their mobile’s GPS to identify when they enter the stadium,” Ms Barker said.

“Alerts are then sent to vendors and stadium staff to start getting the fan’s real-time, personalised VIP service ready.

“For example, the nearest bar can prepare their favourite drink and snack for collection, while detailed directions to their seats – similar to those in satnavs – can be accessed in real-time.

“When the technology is linked with television broadcasters, it can even notify fans when the camera is heading their way.”

Ms Barker said stadium management can also use the technology to interact with patrons throughout the game, by sending instant messages about special deals on food, beverages and merchandise.

“The intuitive technology ensures they are delivering highly relevant communications and offers to people when they are there and willing to respond,” Ms Barker said.

“Indoor mapping also addresses the biggest challenge facing major event organisers: handling huge crowds.

“Organisers can use indoor navigation to transform the way visitors move around their venues, managing crowds with real-time directions and sending out push notifications if there are clearer routes.”

Some US universities are already using the technology to make it easier for students, faculty and visitors to navigate around their large campuses.

“Visitors use the apps to search floor plans of specific buildings, select their desired floor and view the room they are looking for,” Ms Barker said.

“The app can grow and adapt to the needs of the university or venue, incorporating points of interest such as buildings, landmarks, cafes and shops and tailoring offers and advice for a unique, personalised experience.

“With Australia’s sports-mad population, there is considerable scope for it to be implemented here in much the same way.”

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