Cover of Hotel California[/VISIONARIES!]
Let’s reflect on one possible post 2013 future of smartphones and social, local and mobile in the context of a few stanzas of a famous Eagles song. In this scenario, The User is the Interface, the World is the Computer, and the Situation is the Network. The smartphone, on the other hand, is no longer the lynch pin of the mobile value proposition. Having your face as the primary interface may make privacy-minded folks recoil, but don’t hold it against the Eagles for being so visionary. Consider a part of their 1976 Hotel California lyrics:
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis
Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said, ‘we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
“Relax, ” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! “
The Business Trip Scenario
You walk up to a beautiful hotel in San Francisco, and the cameras outside the door initiate facial recognition. As you enter, you are welcomed immediately, both on the smartphone in your carry on luggage, and more importantly on the interactive digital signage display that everyone in the hotel lobbies and elevators can see. Immediately, and without prompts, your hotel arrival makes its way to your various location-based social apps (e.g., Foursquare, LinkedIn, Hotel discount club, and In-house and local restaurants via open table). You immediately begin receiving a daily Yelp list of offers and helpful content from everyone in town who fits your preferences and wants a piece of your wallet.
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