MLBAM (Major League Advanced Media) has issued a press release saying that Apple's iBeacon technology has been implemented both at Petco Park and at Dodger Stadium. If you're not familiar with the technology, it's essentially microlocation wifi, meaning you'll get wifi whenever and wherever you're within each ballpark and clever little things will happen like if you happen to be inside one of the restaurants, you can open up an accompanying app that will know you're in the restaurant and will automatically allow you to see the menu or order food or give you options for what else is near by.
You know what else it's good for? Tracking every single move you make while at a ballpark.
That's right, whether you like it or not, this sort of technology, at is absolute core, is all about knowing exactly where your cell phone is at any given moment. Regardless of if you have the accompanying apps installed. The very fact that your phone is looking for a wi-fi signal will announce your location to the iBeacon servers every moment that you're within range.
So not only will you get the timely reminder that there's a beer cart 3 steps to your left and a place that sells the hat you were hoping to find 18 feet to your right, but you'll also be letting the Padres (and Dodgers) know exactly how long you're standing at that urinal.
Me? I love it. But I work in Big Data. I'm one of the guys trying to figure out how long it takes you to poop after you've spent an inordinate amount of time eating hot dogs (analysis that would be possible given the data they're able to collect). That's also analysis that somebody really should do. How long do people spend outside of their seats? At what times during the game do they leave their seats? What parts of the ballpark are people headed to? Do we have enough food service in those parts of the ballpark? It's interesting stuff.
You? You might want to be freaked the f_ck out right now because Big Brother is watching you. Very very closely... While you poop.
In theory, if you send a text while on an iBeacon wifi network, somebody might know what's in that text. In theory, I'm talking to you, Carlos Danger.
Me though? I welcome our bathroom habit tracking overlords. I've got nothing to hide.
You though... I worry for you.
(happy valentiiiiine's daaaaaay.... i seeeeee yooooooooooou)
Updated: Darklighter points out that iBeacon is Bluetooth and not Wi-Fi so reading of texts is unlikely. But the timing of poops thing? That much more likely.