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Bluetooth beacons coming to ballparks: CNET Update

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CNET Update: Bluetooth beacons coming to ballparks

2:56 /

Major League Baseball's app incorporates Apple's iBeacon technology, Google Search handles your complex questions, and Xbox Fitness tracks your heart rate with the Kinect.

Google is quite the complicated teenager. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Google has made another tweak to its search engine, and for its 50th birthday, the company announced that search has evolved to better understand long and complex questions. It's the first major update to the search engine in 3 years and Google executives said that they observed more people typing in long questions and phrases into the search bar rather than just 1 or 2 keywords as people did years ago, but this upgrade also involves Voice Search. If you've been following Google's changes you've seen that they've been rolling out new ways to do voice searches not just on a smartphone but also from your desktop browser. Understanding the different ways we may ask a question is also a new challenge for Google and some answers to basic questions are now popping up right in the search results. For example if you type in how many calories are in a milkshake, you instantly get the full nutritional breakdown and that means you don't have to click the FitDay or MyFitnessPal websites for the answer. If you're nostalgic for a time when Google was more simple here's a little Easter egg that'll take you back. In the search bar, just type in the phrase Google in 1998. For those of you buying the new Xbox One, the LIVE Gold Membership will include fitness training that uses the Kinect sensor along with interactive workout videos featuring celebrity trainers. The Xbox Fitness online workout program uses the Kinect to check your vitals. It can measure your heart rate, your muscles and evaluate your performance like how hard you're punching or how high you're jumping. The program is free through the end of 2014. Apple's iOS 7 comes with many updates but one of them is a feature that helps make it easier for programmers to use radio frequencies to send messages to smartphones. It's called the iBeacon and Major League Baseball is in the process of using it to enhance its app called At The Ballpark. I got a chance to see a demonstration of the technology at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The developers of the app put Bluetooth beacons in different locations throughout the stadium. In this test the app had to be running in the background and the phone needed Bluetooth turned on. Walking through the main gate showed a pop-up notification welcome message. The app suggested I go near the old Shea Stadium Home Run Apple to learn more about it and when I did a video began to play. It also pushed a coupon for hotdogs at the ticket gate and another coupon for merchandise when I got near the main store and will be plans to roll this out to stadiums for the start of next season. It works for the new iPhones as well as the 5 and the 4S. Down the line they can also program the same beacons to work with the Android app. That's your tech news Update. You can get more details on these stories at CNET.com/Update. From our studios in New York I'm Bridget Carey.
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