Monday, July 29, 2013

Paid Facebook?

Ever grow tired of all the annoying ads and suggested posts that show up in your newsfeed every time you log on to Facebook? Would you be willing to pay for a premium version of Facebook to get rid of those advertisements? Facebook makes 85% of its revenue from ads, but ads aren’t very helpful to users. Twitter’s co-founder Biz Stone has suggested Facebook offer users the option of paying monthly for Facebook to remove ads.

Many other companies like Pandora or Hulu offer paid premium versions of their services that many have upgraded to, so paid Facebook may not be a bad idea. Would you pay for an ad-free Facebook?

For more information on whether a paid version of Facebook is a good idea please visit

Friday, July 26, 2013

Highly Anticipated Hotels of 2013

With a fast paced, constantly changing industry, hotels need to set themselves apart as offering a luxury visit for each of its guests. Let’s take a look at a few new hotels that are set on distinguishing themselves as a destination to visit this year…

The Shangri-La Bosphorus’ opening this past May was highly anticipated as it features the largest accommodations in Istanbul. It also has more than 1,000 pieces of original art throughout the property, a three level atrium, and water views. Guests can also find meeting, spa, and health facilities on this new property.

The recently opened Langham Chicago provides great views of the skyline, Chicago River, and Lake Michigan with its floor-to-ceiling windows. This hotel is located in the iconic Mies van der Rohe building, which was declared a Chicago landmark.

The Cicada Lodge in Australia has 18 rooms that display work from local artists. This hotel is definitely a must for visitors looking for a new adventure. Guests can swim under neighboring waterfalls or take a ride in a helicopter for views of prehistoric rock sites. This property not only puts this location on travelers’ radar, but also preserves the culture of the indigenous Jawoyn people of this region of Australia.

Which of these do you think would be the most exciting hotel to visit?

For more information on new, exciting hotel openings please visit

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Leap Motion: Replacement for Touch-Screens?

Now that many computers and hybrid laptops are incorporating touch-screens, what’s next? Gesture technology!

The Leap Motion Controller works by connecting to any PC or Mac through a USB port and it can simply be placed in front of your computer. You can control your computer with hand and finger movements without ever having to touch the screen. It uses technology similar to the Microsoft Kinect, except Leap Motion can detect small, precise movements for added accuracy. You can also download compatible apps from Leap Motion’s Airspace store.

With this new technology we are sure that “gesture” technology may soon bring many other applications to the marketplace. What do you think? Would you use it? 

Monday, July 22, 2013

The App Store’s 5th Birthday: Innovation for All

Since Apple introduced its App Store 5 years ago, many mobile innovations have been created because of it. Let’s take a look at how the creation of the App Store has changed the way companies do business.

The way goods and services are provided has changed – digitally accessed products are in high demand. For example, companies like Amazon or Barnes & Noble offer eBooks, allowing customers the convenience of having access to any book or magazine from their smart phone, computer, or tablet.

Apple’s well known slogan, “there’s an app for that,” has increased the use of applications not only by consumers but also by businesses. For entrepreneurs and start-up companies, the ability to create and promote their products and capabilities through mobile applications has allowed them to increase traffic, branding, and most importantly revenue.

Looking back on the past five years we can only wonder what the next 5+ years will hold. What do you think? Or better yet there may already be “an app for that”! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How can your hotel stand out?

What makes hotels stand apart for guests? Besides the obvious factors like how nice the hotel is or location – fun, unique offerings are sure to catch guests’ attention. Let’s take a look at a few hotels thinking of new, creative ways to provide guests with unforgettable experiences…

Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco properties offer guests a fun and novel option during their stay. The idea is to diminish the feeling of loneliness for guests traveling alone. Guests can request to have a live goldfish brought to their room that hotel staff will care for.

Avari Towers offers free pizza to all guests on the property. You make your selection, call, and they guarantee it will be delivered to your room in thirty minutes or less. This is very convenient and helps guests feel more at home.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has a program called canine ambassadors at select properties. The canine ambassadors greet guests as they walk in the hotel lobby. Guests are also allowed to take them on a walk or run during their stay.

In today’s fast paced market it’s no longer enough for hotels to just have great service; they must have something that sets them apart. These hotels have figured out their own unique strategies for attracting guests.

For more information please visit

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pop-Up Hotels

Hotels have traditionally been built to last a long time, and why wouldn't they be? Building a new one is expensive. However a recent trend of pop-up hotels is showing up everywhere.

The first pop-up hotel was launched at England’s biggest music festival, Glastonbury, two years ago. The Pop-Up Hotel started with 20 tents, but has grown to 130 tents, which were completely booked this year. Tents feature concierge service and guests are often offered tickets for nearby events.

Snoozebox is another company that has capitalized on this new trend. They set up hotel rooms in shipping containers so they are easy to transport. These were used at the London Olympics to create room for more guests. Snoozebox rooms have an advantage over the tents at The Pop-Up Hotel because they can be climate controlled.

This concept could prove to be very useful in big cities - think how convenient it would be if there were hotels that only popped up for big events, such as annual festivals. Pop-up hotels have potential if they are utilized correctly, but only time will tell if these temporary hotels are a lasting trend.

For more information on pop-up hotels please visit

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Are hotels located near college campuses a new trend?

Many hotels are now taking advantage of the opportunity to open new properties near college campuses. From parent’s weekend and sporting events to summer programs, college campuses create a year round demand.

One hotel brand taking advantage of this is Hilton Garden Inn. The hotel’s vice president Don Willingham states that its “expansion strategy prioritizes locations that make sense from a profitability standpoint, and in looking at the college market, we found a recession-resistant environment.” The property expects to open 20 new properties this year near college campuses.

Davidson Hotels and Resorts has a portfolio of properties near college campuses that it is focusing on expanding. Its properties include Sheraton Iowa City, Westin Annapolis, and Renaissance Baton Rouge among others. The company also plans on appealing to universities by hiring students and catering to campus events.

Building a new hotel by a college campus will always be a smart investment because every year new students arrive, creating more demand. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wave of the Future

A new wave of technology always comes along to replace the original one, but in this case it may literally come with a wave of your hand. Touch screens have been the primary technology on smart phones, but new technologies have popped up allowing people to use their phones without ever touching a thing. Let’s take a look at these new technologies that can also be used in cars, or even in your own home.

Eyesight, a new technology used in cars and computers, operates using a basic webcam. The webcam allows for people to open a browser, answer a call, or turn on the car radio from up to fifteen feet away. Eyesight has also worked with Android, Windows, and Linux to incorporate its technology into Lenovo’s new Ultrabooks.

3Dim, designed by MIT student Andrea Colcoa, is a new platform for smart phones. It projects a keyboard for the smart phone or tablet onto a hard surface, which makes typing easier. It can also be adapted to work with products that don’t have touch screens, such as Google Glass.

WiSee is a technology created by a team at the University of Washington State that uses Wi-Fi signals to communicate. It can recognize nine different gestures, and picks up on the changes in Wi-Fi frequencies that occur from someone’s movement. This means that movement can be monitored without a sensor or a camera - a truly revolutionary idea.

Will touch screens become a thing of the past? No one can be certain, but these new technologies have proven that gesture technology is quickly advancing.

For more information please visit