"Information is Power! The Most Profitable in the Internet"

2006-03-19 11:44:17 PM
A short while ago I was giving a presentation in Las Vegas. One night, after several hectic days of seminars, dinners and shows, a friend of mine and I shared a couple of cokes and a bag of chips while talking about one of the shows we had seen the night before.
As we both got another coke from the in-suite refrigerator, our conversation turned to upcoming applications of information technology. The hotel suite that I was staying in was already equipped with a refrigerator and snack bar that "knew" when I removed an item such as a coke or a bag of pretzels. The items were automatically added to my bill and the housekeeping staff was automatically informed, so that they would know what items had to be replaced! Cool!
The refrigerator and snack bar are connected to the hotel's "Intranet" (note, this is not the same as "Internet") an internally operated computer network. Each can of pop, each liquor bottle, each chocolate bar, each snack item has an electronic sensor under it. The electronic sensor is programmed so that it knows that a 5-oz bag of potato chips is sitting on it. If you lift an item off the sensor, it is automatically billed to your account. This way, the hotel staff knows exactly what they need to replace before they even clean your room after you check out! You are informed of this when you are given the keys to your room, so that there are no misunderstandings later.
We both thought this was a neat use of available technology ... and we got to talking about what other uses the same technology could be put to. <strong>Just think about the kinds of data and information that a "smart room" could be programmed to collect!</strong>Sensors could be attached to doors, light switches, phones and TV sets so that hotel management could figure out how much time people spent in their rooms how much time they spent watching TV and how much time they spent talking on the phone, and when.
Why would they want this information? What would they do with it? Well, in Las Vegas, hotels are often connected to {*word*2}s they don't WANT you in your room. They want you on the {*word*3} floors, or attending their concerts. So the hotels could experiment with a number of different models - all aimed at keeping you out of your room and in the {*word*2}s. They could lower the room rates and then charge you to watch TV, or they could entice you down to the {*word*3} floors with free {*word*3} chips or vending machine tokens.
Within a few days, the hotel could then compile statistics to see what worked and what didn't. In addition to their information on room usage, they would have backup data in the form of their {*word*3} revenues which would confirm if their strategies had worked or not.
Going a step further what if the hotels gave you a door card (card key) that acted like a tracking device? They would be able to track your movement around the hotel and even off the premises. They would be able to tell what you were doing and when, and figure out where you were spending your money. That kind of information would be worth a fortune!
Now, don't get me wrong! I'm not saying there is some kind of {*word*97} theory out there nor am I saying this IS going to happen. Many people will say this is a gross invasion of their privacy and true to form, many others simply won't care. What I DO want you to be aware of is that the technology for doing this kind of information gathering is already here! And in the next two to three years, it will be getting even more sophisticated!
Knowledge of what is coming in the near future could have positive influences on the way you develop your business ... and your career. Job analysts say that the people who know how to design, implement, and use this kind of information and technology will be rare (and therefore desirable) commodities in the future! By knowing where technology is heading, you will be able to position yourself and/or your company for a bright and financially lucerative future!
Here's another example of what is happening right now. One of the major soft drink manufacturers is experimenting with a temperature based pop machine. It adjusts prices of the pop based on the temperature outside. The hotter it is the higher the price!</strong>Basically this is "demand" based marketing. Right now the pop machines are stand alone machines but in the future, they could be connected to the Internet. Someone at the manufacturer's headquarters could literally adjust prices based on things like special events, temperature, and other such factors - driving the price of pop up or down accordingly!
Additionally, the vending machine companies could do all their trouble shooting over the Internet. Say the change maker malfunctions the repair department would immediately be notified and they could send a technician out immediately... instead of waiting until people have kicked the machine to death! Ditto with refilling the pop machine. Right now, the pop machine guy comes by on a regular schedule. He has to open the machine and check it out. Sometimes it is still full, and other times it has stood empty for days! (Lost revenue!) But with an Internet connection, the folks back at pop central would know exactly how many cans of pop were in the machine. Instead of sending a guy out on a regular route they could just send him out to the machines that need refilling. Talk about a super efficient use of human resources!
This market driven model of pricing, service and repairs is not too far off in the future! In fact, right now in Norway, the Nokia phone people are testing various add-on features to their cell phones. In parts of the country, the beta testers can walk up to a pop machine and dial up their account code for a "pop" the pop comes out and the price is added to their phone bill.
Unless you were born on January 1st, 2000 you may have noticed how fast the world is changing. The only way to cope with the change is to embrace it! Accept the fact that change is going to be a permanent part of our lives ... and use information and predictions about future technology as a guide to building your business. Predictions for changes on the Internet are plentiful! Here are some of the things you will be seeing in the not so distant future.
-You will be able to surf the web from your airplane seat in the next year or so. Telecommunications is exploding and soon we will sit in our airplane seat, surfing the web at a cost that will be affordable to many ... just as sky phones are an affordable and justifiable expense to some people. Surfing from your airplane seat will start off as a high cost luxury ... but you can be sure that the cost will steadily decrease as the demand for the service increases.
-At this very moment Internet pioneer Leonard Kleinrock, a scientist at UCLA and owner of a company called "Nomadix Inc." is developing "smart space" technology. When you walk into a room, it will know you are there ... and you will be able to "talk" to it and get the information you want. Sound like Star Trek? You betcha! Communication devices called MEMS (micro electromechanical systems) will be embedded into desks, rooms and even shoes! The device will be able to recognize different people and deliver up their preferences. Kleinrock predicts that Internet technology will be invisible, will be capable of following you around ... it will be available anywhere! Kleinrock also predicts that we may start using some aspect of this technology within three to four years.
-Within two to three years we will start seeing high definition screens on cell phones that will allow us to view Internet content. Because navigating the web using cell phone keys is highly impractical, users will be able to surf the web using voice activated technology.
-Major car companies have embraced the Internet wholeheartedly! In the near future we will be seeing totally integrated communication systems in new cars. Internet access, voicemail, fax machines, and email ... you won't have to wait long!
-<strong>Within months, some of the first Internet-enabled vehicles will be available! GM is gearing up to equip vehicles with "OnStar", a satellite service that will act as a mobile Internet service provider. They are taking this very seriously and are predicting over a million subscribers to the service within the next year!
-GM is already using the Internet to involve its customers in the designing of new vehicles. Within five to ten years you may be able to order up a vehicle custom designed to your specifications!
-And more Star Trek devices will appear every day. Right now we have Global Positioning devices installed in boats, planes and automobiles ... well, in the near future you can join Kirk, Picard and Janeway with your very own wireless badge that connects you to a satellite GPS and keeps track of your location. Now my staff will not only know WHEN I'm goofing off, but where I'm doing the goofing!
The development and appearance of these amazing new Internet technologies and products will only accelerate in the years to come. By knowing what the future will bring, you can position yourself and be ready to profit when it does "become public". Get ready for the new century!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Derek Gehl specializes in teaching real people how to start profitable Internet businesses that make $100,000 to $2.5 Million (or more) per year. To get instant access to all his most profitable marketing campaigns, strategies, tools, and resources that he's used to grow $25 into over $40 Million in online sales, visit www.robotreply.com/cgi-bin/responder/t.pl
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