business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Okay, maybe you’ve seen this before. But I never had, and thought it was just the coolest thing.

I was in the parking lot this week of the Santa Monica Place mall in California, the fabulously redesigned plaza at the south end of the Third Street Promenade.

One of the things that I noticed was that as I drove around looking for a parking space, there were lights lined along the ceiling that were red if the space was taken, green if empty. That made it a lot easier to find a space in the crowded lot ... but that wasn’t the Eye-Opener.

No, what knocked my socks off was the fact that each light had a little camera aimed at the parking space. And at the payment kiosks throughout the garage, there was a computer (pictured) that allowed you to find your car simply by punching in the license plate number. The computer would then access all of the mini cameras, find your corresponding plate, and tell you where your car was.

That’s cool. A little Big Brother-ish, but very cool and an Eye-Opener nevertheless.

(Of course, I also realized that if this existed years ago, it would have rendered as obsolete that old “Seinfeld” episode about getting lost in a mall parking lot...)
KC's View: