Ordering by iPad Touches Down at College Football Stadium

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Last December, a collaboration between airport food and beverage provider OTG Management and Delta Air Lines ( DAL ), as well as other airlines and airports, brought 7,000 Apple ( AAPL ) iPads to NYC's La Guardia, Toronto Pearson International, and Minneapolis-St. Paul International airports, allowing travelers to order food and drinks directly to their gates.

Now, the iPad is continuing its move into high-traffic public spaces by expanding into college football. The new 26,500-seat stadium at Alabama State University has been fully outfitted with consumer-ready iPads by San Francisco-based Revel Systems, the leader of the iPad-based point-of-sale (POS) systems market. All 30 concession stands at the ASU Hornets' new stadium have been equipped with iPads loaded with Revel's software, which will grant facility managers the ability the monitor sales and progress in real time.

The new ASU stadium. Source: Convergence Design

The Revel iPad system has several other advantages over traditional POS devices and programs. First, the system does not require Internet connectivity to operate. Because Revel uses a unique hybrid of local network and cloud connection, data can stream to the cloud and be shared by all the Revel-running iPads without Wi-Fi. (Click here to read more on Revel's "True Offline Mode.")

This offline functionality has proven to be a vital feature already for the stadium, as the system's iPads were able to continue functioning during a power outage at a recent game. Moreover, Revel has said that its POS software runs up to 14% faster per transaction than a traditional POS system, allowing it to accommodate a higher volume of consumers. That is a huge consideration for a 26,500-seat stadium that was built with the potential to expand to 55,000 seats.

When the company was founded in 2010, Revel Systems focused primarily on the fast food and retail industries, with its first system debuting at Lappert's Fish and Chips Store in Sausalito, California. Since then, its reach has extended to Little Caesar's Pizza, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory ( RMCF ), Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen, and Illy Coffee, among others. In the retail sector, Revel has partnered with tech accessories company Belkin and secondhand clothing company Goodwill.

The football stadium environment is similar to the fast food and retail markets, but it brings along with it huge scale, as thousands of people buy concessions over the course of a football game. Revel has claimed that its system is well-suited to environments that see major spikes in consumer demand -- for example, during a halftime break.

The tablet POS space is becoming more competitive, with several POS systems, like Registroid, AccuPOS, and Point of Sale running on Google's ( GOOG ) Android OS. That last system, Point of Sale, is actually offered for free on the Google Play app store. Moreover, there are several other competitors in the space that run on iOS, like POSIOS, Square Register, and PayPal ( EBAY ). The latter two are also available for free from the app store.

However, with its all-inclusive installation and service, quicker transaction speed, and full offline capability, Revel has positioned itself as a strong contender for stadium POS.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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