The Hotel of the Future
In any discussion of the future, we must remember that there are an infinite number of possibilities and that humanity has the ability to choose among them.
Let us therefore suppose that we have chosen not to bring down doomsday upon ourselves. We will have no nuclear war; no overpopulated, over‐ polluted starvation. Let us suppose a working civilization of continuing technological advance.
In that case, we must remember that we are living in a society that is, right now, undergoing an enormous revolution, one that is not entirely clear to us only because we are immersed in it and lack the perspective that distance in time will eventually bring.
I am referring to the matter of computerization and automation.
It is surely inevitable that there will be ever wider use for plastic devices (like credit cards) keyed more and more to some system for personal identification and, second, to a national (or even global) information network.
We are rapidly approaching the time when a large and growing percentage of American homes will have a personal computer-terminal, and one of the many functions of such a terminal would be the making of hotel reservations.
A credit card would be inserted into an appropriate slot and the computer keyed for the making of a hotel reservation. The computer may, for the sake of security, require a special identifying number—or may make use of some more subtle manner of establishing your identity, such as a voice‐ print or a thumbprint.
Once that is done, you will feed the necessary information into the computer. The name of the hotel and city, the date and time of arrival and