Major League Baseball team, the Oakland Athletics, is now using iOS 11’s NFC feature to allow fans to enter stadiums by simply tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch on an NFC ticket scanner at the venue.
In iOS 11, Apple finally opened NFC support to developers, which was restricted only to Apple Pay. Oakland Athletics introduced the NFC-based MLB tickets for the first time on the 22nd of September, immediately after iOS 11 was released, and has tested it for six games.
The Oakland Athletics have been at the forefront of ticketing technology. The team introduced mobile ticketing via text messages back in 2007, so it’s only fitting that this honor goes to the team as well.
This solution is similar to the barcode enabled physical ticket or a digital ticket with a barcode on your phone. But barcodes can be replicated, and can also take time to scan in some cases. Such worries don’t exist when you authenticate your tickets on-device with a single tap using NFC. It is also hassle-free as a user doesn’t have to unlock the iPhone. The iOS 11 feature is available only on iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, as Core NFC is only officially supported on the newer iPhones, even though NFC has been available in older iPhones.
The technology has been developed by Tickets.com, which manages the ticketing for 23 MLB teams. They plan to implement the technology for the 2018 season.