Nov 16, 2005

Hotels are Watching You

When I worked at 2941 I thought the Open Table reservation system was a little creepy. We could track each patron's past visits, including notes on how well they tipped, whether they were complainers, whether they made a fuss about being by the window, and most importantly whether they showed up for their reservation for 6 at 7:00 on a Saturday. When I left, word was we would soon be able to see people's reservation history at all Open Table restaurants.

I love technology, but the news that hotels can anticipate guests' whims seems a bit dangerous to me:

These "smart" systems can learn whether a frequent guest likes the lights dimmed, the curtains closed or the room toasty warm. They can also personalize the electronics in the room so that John Coltrane, for instance, greets jazz buffs when they enter their rooms. And sensors in refrigerators alert maids when the minibar is running low on soda.

Aren't wandering-eyed men and women the world over going to be caught red-handed when they arrive with their proper mates to a hotel destination?

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