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Beacons Give Georgetown Basketball Fans a Shot at Upgrading Seats

The location-based solution, provided by LetsMoveDown, uses Bluetooth beacon technology from Radius Networks to let attendees receive discounts and improve their seating.
By Claire Swedberg

Georgetown University was already using LetsMoveDown's mobile-ticketing service when Radius Networks contacted the school about its own beaconing technology, and the basketball team arranged for the two companies to work together. The team "is pretty innovative when it comes to customizing the experience of the fans," Shewmon says.

The result has been a solution provided by LetsMoveDown but utilizing Radius Networks' beaconing technology. At the Verizon Center, the system works for anyone who already has the Hoyas Tix app loaded on his or her phone, and an Apple handset with BLE technology (devices using iOS 7 or higher). The system could also operate with Android-based BLE-enabled phones, Wallace notes, though an Android-compatible Hoyas Tix app was not included in the initial Georgetown rollout. Six beacons were installed at the entrance gates, each of which transmitted its unique identifier to phones and those with BLE technology. The app then responded, sending a message back to LetsMoveDown's cloud-based server, which forwarded a text-message greeting to each fan.

RadBeacon USB Bluetooth Beacon
Inside the center, about 15 beacons were installed within concourses, clubs and stores, and another 10 in the seating areas. Responses from the Hoya Tix app not only prompt promotional data to be sent to the phone, but can also be collected to determine analytics-based data, such as where groups tend to gather at an event, as well as the number of people seated in a given section.

According to Wallace, Radius Networks—which was launched in Washington, D.C., in 2012—was initially formed to develop a Wi-Fi-based solution that could transmit data to mobile phones, via an app, based on a Wi-Fi access node's service set identifier (SSID) detected by the phone in a specific area. However, he says, access to SSIDs was not always available to phones. As such, Radius instead began considering beacon technology. By the time Apple released its new iPhone 5 with BLE capabilities, he says, "We saw that coming, and determined how Apple would do it."

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