Saturday, November 1, 2008

Connection Technology


 In the book I’m writing, I talk about the evolution of communication technologies like the telephone and telegrams to connection technology. I define connection technology as devices and applications that do more than provide communication capability – it provides a connection for people and information to people and information via a range of applications. 

A basic example is the mobile phone that began life as a mobile version of the humble telephone but has transformed into a phone, phone book (contact list), instant message vehicle (text SMS and video MMS), audio message bank (voicemail) and photo capture send and store (camera) to name a few current functions. 

 Today, more sophisticated devices such as the iPhone, Blackberry and PDA provide even more connectivity with built-in calendars, email, internet access and a range of customizable connection applications. This development provides society and business with a new way of connecting – not just communicating – with devices that reside in people's pockets or purses. 

Here’s a really good business example: When you arrive at the Malibu Beach Inn in California in the United States, you’re asked if you own an Apple iPhone or iTouch. If you don’t have one, they provide you one for the duration of your stay. On the device, they provide access to an application called Hotel Evolution, which displays a grid of icons that becomes your portable guest information and services portal. 

 From the menu items, you can access room service menus and place orders (including special requests and dietary preferences), arrange for your dry cleaning to be collected, request additional toiletries, change your do not disturb room status, set-up a wake-up call, receive messages, arrange a rental car and make a booking before you leave. By accessing the virtual concierge, you can view a local attractions map, shopping guide and even the tee-off times for the local golf course. This capability is available NOW. 

In future, I have no doubt that they will program the capability for the device to function as a hotel key for secure physical access to your room during your stay. This is one of many applications these connection technologies will provide society and business now and in the future. Some are being developed now - and some are probably being devised in your heads as you read this. If you know of any connection technologies and applications, please feel free to comment or send me a note. I love to share this stuff.

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