It’s happening everyday. Technology is rapidly changing the way we live our lives. You can now walk around a big-box store scanning and paying for items without ever having to wait in a checkout line, hotel rooms respond to voice commands and vehicles are driving themselves. It’s changing the way we interact, altering our expectations and even the way we think. Whether you like it or not, we are now living in a Smart Society that’s being shaped by the high tech landscape surrounding us. 

BYOD – “Bring Your Own Device”

You might ask yourself why this tech renaissance is happening now. There’s certainly been a convergence of many factors: Expanding memory coupled with decreasing size, greater demand, more varied product offerings are just a few factors. However, there’s two components which have been the driving force behind this transformation. One has been the widespread growth of Wi-Fi. It used to be that a customer contact business might offer Wi-Fi as an amenity. Now it’s a business necessity if you’re going to be competitive. We’re seeing Wi-Fi available on public transportation, in retail stores and at sports arenas. Public hotspots are being set up across all major cities so you can access the internet while walking down a street. Soon it’ll be rare to be in an area which doesn’t have Wi-Fi. And, of course, the number one factor influencing this technological explosion is the widespread proliferation of the smart phone.

In the past, new and innovative products tended to be machine centric with a focus on business owned hardware such as kiosks, digital displays or, in the casino industry, slot machine add-ons. However, with the advent of escalating smart phone usage many products became customer device centric and a new term was coined: BYOD or Bring Your Own Device. Why should a business purchase kiosks or pay for very expensive slot machine peripheral products when the customer will provide their own hardware? Smart phone usage in the United States has skyrocketed over the past few years with projections placing users at close to 250 million by the year 2020. Given that Wi-Fi has become the norm, driven by the ever expanding usage of smart devices, it’s no wonder that the customer facing environment is morphing before our eyes.

I’ll discuss how you can maximize these trends to your advantage in upcoming blogs but the bottom line is that these changes are happening, and they’re happening fast. You and your business will either change with the times or be left behind.

Frank Oppenheim is the co-founder and CEO of Metavallo, LLC. He has spent his entire life in the hospitality industry, working his way from front line employee to General Manager and Vice-President. His diverse experience gives him a unique personal perspective in understanding operations through the eyes of the team members. Frank utilizes his expansive subject matter expertise to lead a design and development team in creating a suite of powerful solutions which combine best demonstrated practices with cutting edge technology.