Glass has come a long way. The current “Explorer” version ($1,500) feels weightless and can record video for one hour. Of course the price and performance will continue to improve.
Glass makes it easy to take video and pictures and share them. This isn’t different than a phone really, but Glass makes it virtually friction-less to do this: no phone to pull out, no app to open. When recording video you don’t need to look away from what you are recording.
The only Glass app for hospitality that I’m aware of today is SPG for Glass from Starwood Hotels. With it you can search for hotels, see pictures of a property, check your reward program status and call a hotel.
We are at the tip of the iceberg of wearable computing. The things that will emerge in the next five years will amaze us all. The biggest impediment to the growth wearables like Glass is social. Most people find Glass to be creepy if they aren’t the ones wearing it, because in most circumstances you can’t tell if you’re being recorded. The other problem socially is that when you are interacting with someone wearing Glass, there is the feeling you are competing with the device for their attention. Still, it’s clear to me that wearables have huge implications are coming whether we like it or not.
There was a great session Thursday morning on Big Data, an area where interest and investment are exploding. There were a number of ideas presented about what Big Data really is, to me it’s this: We can now combine data from disparate sources like airlines, GDS, and social media with brand and property data, to gain new insights about our customers, prospective customers, and travel activity at the macro level.
So this fellow walks into a Target store and complains to the manager that his daughter has been receiving coupons for baby products, why were they doing that? As it turned out, his daughter was indeed pregnant… and Target knew it before he did.
Big data is changing everything.
For now, Big Data seems to be the province of the Big Guys. I believe that in the future we will see data aggregators offering smaller, targeted amounts of data to mid-size chains and even independents. The challenge in putting Big Data to work at your brand or property is going to be integrating your on-property systems with the external data. So get to work now, make your property data sources more connectable, eliminate silos, and choose systems that can connect to the vast amount of information becoming available to you.
If you have read this far, thank you! I hope that these posts have given you a tiny slice of what HITEC had to offer. See you at HITEC 2015 in Austin!
Randy Craven, CHTP is co-principal of Stella Solutions Group, a hospitality software development and consulting firm based in Greensboro, NC. He has been an HFTP member for three years and currently serves as president of the HFTP Central Carolina Chapter, and also as a member of the HFTP Certification Advisory Council. He was the HFTP 2012 CHTP of the Year recipient.
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