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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.