Google has acquired Nest, a company that specializes in smart thermostats, for $3,200 million dollars paid in cash. This movement confirms one of the clearest tendencies observed in the digital panorama: the so-called Internet of Things, a world that’s hyper-connected through mobile sensors, which will take flight in the tourism industry this year, even though its definitive results will take a while to be of common use by the consumers.
What does this new and much searched for concept mean? The logic of the new digital era and the steering of all industrial processes towards 3D printing, alongside of the progressive lowering of microchip and technological gadget prices, will allow all the objects that surrounds us to be connected and be smart detectors of our reality. Nowadays, a lot of us are already active sensors as well through our wrongly called mobile telephones.
And what will this world of connected devices contribute to the tourism industry? Let’s imagine Google’s future thermostat, developed and manufactured by their Nest division –the newly acquired company by the North American giant- once it has been installed in the rooms of a hotel, not very different from current thermostats or smoke detectors. At first instance, the guest will be able to activate said thermostat through an app a couple of hours before their arrival with the desired room temperature, avoiding staff waste by having to assume this mechanical function, saving explanations about how it works when the guest arrives or forcing the hotel designer to standardize its use in all rooms and common areas. Later on –and this is where Google really shows its true interest in buying Nest- thanks to Big Data, the system will recognize the guest and will activate the thermostat exactly when it is needed and at the right temperature. Not to the temperature that is desired, which would be easy, but to the perfect temperature for the functioning of their body. How is that? Thanks to the fact that two devices of common use will be connected in the near future: the physiological sensor of the client and the environment sensor of the room. One will inform the other. The other will inform the management system which will process the data instantly to acclimatize the space accordingly.
This is just an example of the advantages that the Internet of Things or an interconnected world through digital technology begin to provide. We can imagine many more things during the stay of a traveler whose needs are being covered by a smart sensor system such as Nest and whose wishes are even being anticipated, thanks again to technology, through a human template dedicated to practice emotional liturgies instead of boring mechanical services. Let’s think how 8 billion people in this planet will be able to travel by 2020 with around 9 devices connected to the Internet each one.
Technology once again runs to the rescue of people, redeems them of their alienation, and offers them the most promising thing for a smart life: creativity. How can you resist paradise in an industry, the tourism industry, whose best promise is personal paradise?
Fernando Gallardo |