Let me preface this initial post by coming clean before I even start: the ideas I am about to spill forth are complicated, probably a bit on the expensive side and require quite a bit of development to accomplish. However, you know what?
I don't care. Like, at all.
In this present technical day, anything is possible. Literally. Anything. No joke.
So don't pass this off as a rant. Well, OK, this is a bit of a rant. However, it is a rant with a point. I want cool technical gadgets, applications and toys to play with and as far as I can tell, the whole picture of what I am describing does not exist. Parts do. Little bits here and there, but not the total package.
So, what exactly, do I want right now?
Having just watched the last World Series game last month, I am reminded of an idea that I want badly. You see, I love baseball. Played the game. I watch the game closely. I attend the games, especially at the Bay Area jewel known as AT&T Park in San Francisco.
I love going there. I love the smells (garlic fries!), the sights (the view from the View Box is unparalleled), and of course the sweet sounds of a baseball on a bat.
However, what I do not love is getting up to find a bathroom, grab an adult beverage, or find some food and missing multiple at-bats, pitches, or innings because of a variety of reasons.
I think you see where I am going here.
Now, Major League Baseball does have a stadium map on the MLB At Bat app, but it is a static map with no real interactivity and not enough detail.
I want to pull up a map on my mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android, don't care what your mobile religion is) and be able to do the following just by TOUCHING the map.
That is ALL I want to do. Touch the map.
I touch the precise location of the snack stand (and I mean PRECISE – I don't want to touch it only to find that the data is from last week, month, year) and I get a quick menu, what beer is on tap, how long the line is, and, MOST importantly, how the heck do I get there QUICKLY.
You see, one thing the Giants do VERY well is offer all kinds of food at their park. Everything is there including Caribbean, Irish, Mexican and even a sushi bar. This is an awesome feature but it becomes cumbersome when you cannot find these spots or figure out how to get there.
And to add to the complication, the Giants tend to move these food carts/spots around on occasion, so the concept of an accurate map with precise, up to date information becomes critical to the success of an idea such as this.
The bottom line is that I don't want to guess.
I don't want to have to think.
Just lay it out for me and I follow the route to quickly get there and back before The Panda hits again ( Pablo Sandoval, Giants third basemen for those not in the know).
OK, let's stop here for a second.
Some of you may be reading this thinking, “I know I've used an app like this before”. Well, like I said, there are small parts of this idea strewn throughout the collective application availability, but I have yet to see it all come together in a fully contained, I have to HAVE that, type of an application.
I want it all. I'm greedy.
I want to know where the bathroom is at a glance with a full route to get there and back quickly.
Think about this weird statistic: how many hours of sporting events are LOST at the snack stand, bathroom, in the parking lot because fans don't know how to get somewhere, went where everyone else is or just plain could not figure out the stadium facility.
I would be willing to wager that the average Giants game where roughly 42,000 fans attend, each fan misses an average of 20-30 minutes of the game.
Think about that stat. What if we could cut that down to 10 minutes with a SUPER accurate map and killer application built on top with everything a fan needs.
Talk about raising the fan appreciation.
Now, I can kind of guess what the technical requirements are with the idea I am describing here. I am one of those product / engineer types myself, so I have an idea of what is involved here.
But, like I said, I don't care.
Make my experience at the game better. Enhance it. Give me that map application that will eventually be engrained into my stadium experience just like grabbing a cold beer and a hot dog is today.
Make an incredibly awesome application that is just a requirement to be at the stadium and not some hip feature that only the cool kids know about.
Make it pervasive. Make it ingenious.
That is what I want.