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Got game? Microsoft, Harrah’s want it to Surface

June 11, 2008

Microsoft said on Wednesday 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 “FHarrah’s Surfacelirt” 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.

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