Written By: James Lingle
I was asked at lunch today by an industry colleague and friend what I saw at HITEC that stood out. It is a pretty common question, I think, and one that is a great way to reflect on the week that was HITEC. If you saw my first blog this year, I am book-ending my final blog with the same theme – I hope you catch it!
• Time in a Bottle – In the immortal words of Jim Croce, “there never seems to be enough time.” The show floor this year was huge. I saw so much, but when I looked at my pre-show list of the vendors I wanted to meet, I plain just ran out of time. I think the show floor size speaks volumes to how much vendors are willing to invest in our industry and their view of the economic outlook.
• Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes – OK, I am co-opting a little David Bowie here, but sometimes it is easy to miss the change that happens right in front of you. Three particular items this year really jumped out at me that may not have if I had not missed last year.
- Mobility – Yes, this has been with us for a while. To see the fresh new looks of user interfaces, unique uses of new mobile device technology and the (to me) big jump in vendor developed content management systems – especially by vendors who have not really had that type of back end in the past – was great. It is really driving the access to…
- Data – If you did not get a chance to see Jer Thorp’s presentation you missed a good one. Jer’s take on data is different. There is definitely a great chance that the concept of “humanization of data” will work its way into our consciousness. I think the idea that others who collect data will let us see that data is a steep hill to overcome, but Jer’s idea behind creating ways for us to see our own data will challenge many established norms.
- TVs – I spent time with both LG and Samsung this week looking at not only the front end of their technology (the TV sets themselves – which by the way are amazing!), but everything they are putting into the guts of the sets, and all they are putting around the visual guest experience. I think it leaves open a road to new and exciting things.
• You’ve Got a Friend in Me – I think it is clear that HITEC is a great venue to create and maintain relationships. After missing last year, it was amazing to see so many familiar faces, to reconnect and to begin to cultivate new relationships.
• Mr. Roboto – Perhaps the coolest thing I saw this week was Relay the Robot from Savioke. I have to admit to being skeptical about how that would work or how it would be. After watching Relay work and sitting down with Steve Cousins about how much work has been put into Relay, the successes they have seen in deployment and the road map they have for the future is impressive. While it is still too early to say if this will really ever be a thing in hospitality, this is the kind of ground breaking thinking that creates a spirit of innovation.
I have said it before and I will say it again – I love HITEC. I loved being back, and I am excited about Toronto. I hope you had a great show this year – I know I did.
James Lingle is an official 2016 HITEC Guest Blogger and professional consultant. In addition to Interim CIO and CIO advisory service, he also does project management and information security work for his clients. Follow him on LinkedIn and visit his page at www.jameslingle.com.