Surface tables plugged in at Rio in Vegas

July 18, 2008 by Dave Haynes

I failed miserably in my recent attempt to find an AT&T store in Manhattan that had the Microsoft Surface thing happening at its location. I’ve got the GPS DNA, but all those tall buildings and east and west this and thats can throw a guy off.

However, I know where the Rio is in Las Vegas and I am stumbling distance away from it when I am at infoComm next week … so I wanna wander over to see this:

Microsoft said on Wednesday , reports Reuters, that casino chain Harrah’s Entertainment Inc is the second customer to deploy Surface, the company’s coffee-table-shaped computer that responds to touch.

Harrah’s installed six Surface tables at the iBar “ultralounge” at its Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Unlike AT&T, the first company to deploy Microsoft Surface at a handful of its stores, Harrah’s has developed its own applications for the machine.

The most interesting is a new “Flirt” application. Since each Surface comes with a video camera, bar patrons can communicate or “flirt” with people at other tables. It seems like a pretty fun application, although one has to wonder why it has taken so long to become a product. After all, this was an idea conceived in the 1990s by none other than Miss Janet Jackson. Check out this video for proof.

It’s probably not visible in this picture, but here’s a sample of what Harrah’s calls flirting.

  • “Apart from being sexy, what do you do for a living?”
  • “I lost my number. Can I have yours?”
  • “I tripped on a kiss and fell in love with you.”
  • “You’re so HOT … got sunscreen?”

The Surface will also allow bar patrons to create and order cocktails, watch YouTube videos and play video games like bowling, pinball and memory games. There are a couple of “virtual concierge” applications. One lets customers tour Harrah’s Vegas properties and attractions, while another provides a virtual guide to the Las Vegas strip.

The Flirt thing is probably hysterical if you are with a buncha people and have had a few pops, but creepy as hell if a couple of women are there and there’s a pile of drunk actuaries at the other Surface tables.

Having not seen the thing it is hard to pass judgement, but the $10K price point and DLP projection system are always going to be problems. But credit has to be given for pushing the envelope, and not just doing it in a lab.

Leave a comment