Wembley Soccer Stadium a Mothership of Mobile and Tech

Recently, Old Trafford, home to the Manchester United English football team, banned the use of iPads in their stadium; the item of technology isn’t even allowed into the arena. This choice was made, based in apparent suspicions of violating rights of privacy of millionaires on the field and in the boxes of the stadium. Coincidentally, another United Kingdom stadium has chosen to go in the very opposite direction, according to an article recently completed by Tech Radar.

Ipads  and tablets built into Wembley Soccer Stadium box seats.

iPads and tablets built into Wembley Soccer Stadium box seats.


Wembley, a new and improved rendition of the Old Wembley, has now been proclaimed as the mothership of technology in the entirety of the United Kingdom. Rob Ray, the Chief Technology Officer and the individual in charge of the implementation of technology into the stadium, has announced several ambitions for the project. Contactless payment is expected; in addition, iBeacons will allow a consumer’s ticket to be readied while the customer waits in line for the turnstiles. To finalize the technology implementations, the newly conceived Wembley app will be released in October for the England San Marino game; the app was created in the hopes of declaring Wembley as being on the cutting edge of technology.

When asked why Wembley decided to favor technology in light of Old Trafford’s choice against the platform, Ray declared that it is simply what the consumer’s want. Technology has become part of the sport experience, in Ray’s opinion; to deprive customers of such wouldn’t be meeting their needs. In addition to this, there is also the factor that Wembley serves as a venue for more than just football events. Concerts and various other events are held at the venue, and Ray feels it would not be fair to allow technology for only some of the events held at Wembley.


Wembley Soccer Stadium, Smartphone Scan

Guests can gain access to the stadium by scanning barcodes on their smartphones.

EE has served as the prominent brand of the stadium, paying an indiscriminate amount of money to fund one of the world’s greatest stadiums. EE sought to make the stadium the hub for the next generation of technology; EE wants customers to come and see how technology is going to be in the future. The biggest challenge in the task has been building massive pipelines and installing intelligence to manage heavy Wi-Fi traffic expectations of consumers.

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OpenTable Mobile Payment Program

At a conference in San Francisco in February, OpenTable—an app best known for table reservations—announced that it would be expanding to build a mobile payment program for some restaurants.  The market is full of competitors, all with a variety of means of approaching the task.  Competitors range from small startups to payment giants such as PayPal.  Tableside paying has become popular, mostly for its cut back on paper and complications in turning over tables.  However, methods of completing the task have varied greatly; some rely on an app installed on a smartphone, while others depend on a tablet provided to the restaurant.

OpenTable, Mobile App

According to an article recently completed by Tech Crunch, in the case of OpenTable, the company does have certain advantages to tackling the popular market.  The app is already a household name in its ease of use for reserving tables; therefore, many Americans already have the app on their phone and would not need to seek out additional software or applications just to employ the payment method.  In 2010, OpenTable claimed that it helped seat two million diners per month.  By last summer, the mobile app represented thirty six percent of all diners helped through OpenTable’s services.  Now, that figure has increased to helping a total of fifteen million diners a month.  This seems to imply that many in the nation already employ the app; this fact is confirmed by Google Play data, which shows that the app is on millions of Android phones.  It is also believed that this figure for iPhone users would be even higher.

From there, if the user already has the app, it becomes a simple matter of uploading a credit or debit card to the account.  No scanning is needed and the user need not ‘check in’ to the restaurant to employ the payment component.  The iPhone edition of the app shows a detailed view of the bill, adjustable tip suggestions by percentages, emails the receipt and even includes an opportunity to use payment options the restaurant doesn’t accept.

Dozens of restaurants in New York City already accept OpenTable’s payment component.  Eighteen restaurants have chosen the app in San Francisco.  By the end of the 2014, OpenTable hopes to introduce payment plan to twenty more cities.