Smart Interactions

Smart Phones have become an industry upon themselves. Even I sometimes wonder what I would do if I couldn’t play chess or wordwarp on my iPhone. But do applications really make a phone smart?

If there is an APP for That then there also needs to be an application for that App. And to be truely smart that application should involve interactions with other applications, data or devices.

A device isn’t truely smart unless it has something to be smart with. Knowledge isn’t power unless it’s shared and applied. In a connected, smart world this is even more the case.

Smart phones and Smart Devices in general need to interact, share data and as a group, create better information and environments. I’ve worked for several years on bringing networks that were once individual silos of information together. But only in the past few years has the integration of the devices on those converged networks begun to interact natively. Here is where the power of smart devices really pays off. When they talk together and no longer require a master router/gateway/controller to interpret and be a point of contention and failure. It is when we have a true collective of individual components that we really achive a smart world.

Let me know your thoughts!

The future looks cloudy

I’ve followed cloud computing for a while with great anticipation of it’s potential. Although I still see some issues with security and management, the current range of companies offering services fits many current needs at prices that are cost effective and versitality that exceeds what any company (or individual) may need.

Elastisity is a term I associate most with the cloud. Todays computing environment has many ebbs and flows and the cloud allows you to plan for the median rather than the extremes. I am a fan of Amazon Web Services (Check my facebook page to verify!) which I believe has one of the best Cloud Computing offerings. From low level to high level to storage, Amazon is excelling at this.

What’s this got to do with Hotels, Casinos, and/or Real Estate? Computing is a resource that does not need to be located locally with the user. All three of these industries have limited space or have better use of space than to have computing resources stored and managed locally. We have used Citrix, Terminal Server and other products to move applications to a manageable environment. Moving applications into the Cloud is the next eveolution of this access.

Check out Amazon Web Services (AWS) and let me know what you think. Also in my list are

Google: Is it evil to want to dominate the Internet?

Microsoft Azure: It is evil to want to dominate computing worldwide but they do bring better things to life. (whoops, wrong company tagline!)

AT&T Synaptic services: I’ve always like the core AT&T technologies and this is core.

And GoGrid: I hae a collegue talking this company up but need to do some more research. They sound good!

Cloud Computing is on an early adoption stage much like the internet of the 90’s. It will grow. It will suceed. It is here to stay.

Hotel Security

A part of my consulting practice revolves around technology for large homes and estates. In this, I have designed systems to communicate voice, video and data throughout a large home or multi home complex. Video surveillance has been part of this communication to provide part of an overall security solution to the residents.

A colleague I work with on a couple of these projects designs physical security including safe cores or safe rooms for the residents. We have had many discussions about using his expertise in designing a safer hotel. In all my discussions with hotel developers and brands, this has peaked interest but never been able to gain traction. With the recent events at the Taj Hotel in India, I believe there is a need for safer hotels using both technology and physical hardening of the structure and rooms within. Greater access control using biometrics and other current technology may not fully prevent tragedies but certainly would be a step towards providing safer accomodations to guests.

This is one subject that I would like the thoughts of others. Please email me or respond with a comment below.

Added 08.17.2009 Reference 2009 Jakarta Bombing

Internet of Things

When learning to speak in public, there were two words I was told to avoid at all costs, STUFF and THINGS. But when learning of the Internet Protocol for Smart Objects Alliance and their “Internet of Things”, I think that they chose their words well.

I have compiled a very long list of smart objects that can be included in buildings, hotels and the gaming floor (“Asset”) to make them “Smart”. The more smart objects that get included, we have seen the Asset become exponentially smarter and more valuable to both the owner and the user. It can be a smart soap dispenser that tell you when they are low, Smart Phones to purchase products and open doors or smart cameras that can tell you when lines are long at a front desk or checkout counter allowing you to react to a possible bad service experience with more people or a change in a digital signage to direct people to someplace less busy to conduct their transaction.

One of Merriam Websters Dictionary definitions to Intelligence is “the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment.” It is this intelligence we seek when thinking to communicate to our Internet of Things.


Mobility with the ability to take communications anywhere we go has great potential when enabled by the real estate we travel from, through and to.

When a phone call, web collaboration, or video conference can move from desk video to mobile phone to home television, then we have moved beyond boundries of tradional technology.

The idea of dusting a communication, that is brushing a session from one device to another, can make the complex simple. When technology disapears and communications follow us from place to place and device to device, then we will have truly made a great leap forward

Communications are changing towards more complex interaction made simple.

In-Building Wireless lowers Insurance Costs?

While going through my emails today, I read a Realcomm Advisory about how one customer successfully lowered their insurance costs by having a in-building wireless system. There are many building System enhancements that add value and safety to our buildings. With a in-building wireless system, customers are able to use their mobile phones for emergency situations and public safety radios are guaranteed to operate anywhere in the building.

On the Public Safety Radio side, there are several jurisdictions that are now requiring this to get occupancy and many others looking at requiring this.

It seems we have both the carrot and the stick working toward the same goal. In the end, the tenants and customers of these building will certainly be the beneficiaries.

The Many Faces of Connected Real Estate (CRE)

One of my presentations on Connected Real Estate (CRE) this week was to a group attempting to understand the market better. When attempting to describe what it is I listed the 3 phases/areas that I have used for several months. Since it was new to several of them, I thought I would share my view here as well.

When working in CRE, the 3 areas where I divide and focus are the construction process, building systems and tenant services. Each of these has their own stakeholders and their own objectives.

The Construction process benefits from a CRE strategy in streamlining the process through technology, reducing material costs with more technology integrated (“connected”) materials and through better communication of issues and changes with all concerned parties. The materials and information that is used and developed here also benefit the operation of the building systems and tenant services.

The Building systems are overlap into the construction process but are more focused on operating the building after it opens. The “right” building materials can make a building more efficient and for “green” buildings is a must. Even without a green strategy, implementing building systems that communicate can realize the property owner/operator substantial energy savings and tenant satisfaction.

Tenant systems: We live in a connected world. Whatever may be attached to your hip or in your briefcase, it will only be more connected in the months and years to come. Creating a real estate asset that has this connectivity built in as a basic service of the building will provide a much more friendly environment for the tenants. For the best services, this connectivity needs to be designed into the building from the start.

In general Connected Real Estate in any of these area can make a real estate asset more valuable to both the owner and the users. When all of these come together, it is truly a WIN-WIN for all.

Technology and Management Consulting for Residential, Hospitality, Casino Gaming and Tech Companies