A look at the AT&T's use of Surface screens

April 17, 2008 by Dave Haynes

Gadget blog Gizmodo has a nice piece of Flash video demo-ing the capabilities of the Microsoft Surface table in peddling cell phone plans and handsets.

I don’t get very twitchy about being able to zoom in and around a coverage map, which is the first part of the video. Basically, “Yeah, so …”

But what is cool is the ability to put a handset down on the screen and up pops a set of cue cards (for lack of a better description) that give consumers a run-through of the key value propositions of the phone. Put down a second, different handset and you get comparisons.

Very cool stuff and it shows what is possible.

On the practical side, though … don’t all these wireless stores tether the handsets? And aren’t a lot of them just non-functional lookalikes?

UPDATE: Jason Goldberg of MTI, who writes the Retail Geek blog, has an excellent, detailed first-hand review of the AT&T Surface efforts.

  1. The AT&T experience stores (unlike main-line at&t stores), have almost no dummy phones. All are live units that are charged at night, and teathered during the day with a coiled cord. Yes, it’s ironic to put an old school phone cord on every “cordless” phone. The only problem is that many phones battery won’t last a day when they handset is constantly being used to demo streaming audio and video, so some phones are dead before the end of the day.

    The MS Surface doesn’t really recognize the phones when they are put on it. It recognizes a sticker attached to the back of specific demo phones that are mounted on the sides of the display and teathered via coiled-cord.

    Here’s my hands on recap of the San Bruno Store:


    There’s also a link to a set of hi-res photo’s of the store.

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