BEACONS AT THE SUPER BOWL: The Super Bowl, which took place in the New York-New Jersey area on Sunday, is a big marketing opportunity. This year, the National Football League (NFL) looked to market to consumers both at the game and around the Super Bowl week festivities in New York City’s Times Square by installing beacon transmitters. The beacons are low-cost pieces of hardware that transmit messages to an official NFL Mobile app on fans’ phones. They were used to deliver messages that included in-store discounts and location-tailored directions, like where the nearest stadium entrance is.
The Super Bowl represents a crucial step for the validation of beacons at live events. In our recent report on beacon technology, we discussed how beacons at events can relay stadium information, point people to complementary content, or promote sales. This year, Major League Baseball will also continue to deployment of thousands of beacons at 20 ballparks in time for the season’s opening day, according to Mac Rumours. Beacons have already done well in a test phase at a small number of MLB parks. But the Super Bowl will move beacon application at events beyond simply installing them at a stadium or ballpark. Given the NFL’s strategy of deploying beacons in Times Square, success at this year’s event will signal the ease with which beacons can be implemented to reach consumers at any mass gathering, including festivals, concerts, or conventions. (New York Times)
How Lenovo Built A Chinese Tech Giant: The Wall Street Journal has a feature on Lenovo, the Chinese handset manufacturer that just purchased Motorola from Google, that looks at the company’s success and details its plans to expand across international markets. (Wall Street Journal)
APPLE MOBILE MEDICAL — Apple is showing a strong interest in developing mobile technology to enhance the medical industry. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration’s public records shows that a group of senior Apple executives met with the FDA in December. (New York Times)
BLACKBERRY ZERO: On the first anniversary of the debut of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, BlackBerry’s U.S. mobile phone market share of consumer phone activations dipped to such a negligible number that it accounted for about 0% in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to survey data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. (According to CIO, CIRP’s survey sample was only 500 people, so the results should be taken with a grain of salt.) (BGR)
What Retailers Think About When They Think About Mobile: “Although we’re seeing more and more customers buy from mobile, we still think of mobile as an informational channel versus a place where consumers make a purchase. Our challenge is making the shopping experience on mobile as smooth as possible.” — Kaleb Cho, marketing manager, Amazon. (Digiday)
SECOND SCREEN BATTLE: The Super Bowl will act as one of the biggest battlegrounds in the increasingly competitive battle for the second screen between Twitter and Facebook. Twitter has long been a haven for second screen activity but Facebook has made recent strides to keep TV watchers on its portal. For the big game, Facebook partnered with Fox Sports, the game’s broadcaster, to showcase pre-game and in-game content from Facebook users. (Reuters)
PEBBLE APP STORE: Pebble, the smartwatch maker and Kickstarter success, will debut its own app store today, finally giving an organised distribution platform for third-party developers to deliver their apps to Pebble watch users. (Slash Gear)
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