This is it! The Stern Insider Connected mobile application is available on the stores. We’d been led to believe that the release was imminent, and we were right. It happens to us from time to time 🙂
To date, the mobile application is a strict reflection of the website. What’s the point, one might ask? Well, for one thing, most players haven’t scanned the QR code that connects them to Stern Pinball’s pinball machines (as long as they have the module installed), or put it in their virtual or physical wallet. The app is therefore a great way to quickly find your flash code: no need to identify yourself each time.
On the other hand, it’s disappointing that it doesn’t work in offline mode. This would have been an advantage in gamerooms and other places where the connection is poor.
Another downside of this announcement is that Stern has been a victim of its own success, and the Stern IC service has been “down” for a large number of users worldwide. At the time of writing, two hours after the announcement, the problem is still present. But this type of problem is usually resolved within 24 hours, once the peak of connections has passed.
What’s next for Stern IC?
Two years after the release of its connected module, it’s reassuring to see that Stern applies a long-term policy, adding features to its service as it goes along, without haste but with method. Admittedly, there may be a few hiccups, as the manufacturer discovers the business of a service provider, but their technique of taking small steps greatly limits the impact on players.
A major expectation now is the ability for individuals to create their own leaderboards, i.e. their own private competitions. The arrival of a mobile application was clearly on the manufacturer’s agenda, and the development team made no secret of it. But providing pinball machine owners with a feature like the leaderboard is a step that Stern is unlikely to take. Indeed, retaining advantages for operators to encourage people to play in public places is a strategic issue.
Fingers crossed nonetheless!