Microsoft has gone Vegas, baby. The company’s tabletop Surface computers have been installed inside the iBar lounge at Harrah’s Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.
The table touch screens have been customized by Microsoft to let you order drinks, watch videos, play games. But here’s the interesting part. Cameras have been installed at the tables along with special software called “Flirt” that lets you flirt with people at other tables.
Flirt even reportedly suggests pick up lines, like: "You're so HOT ... got sunscreen?" Or, "Apart from being sexy, what do you do for a living?" Ok, this proves the software was written by code crunchers more comfortable communicating in C++, Visual Basic or LISP than in the language of LOVE.
This is the first time Surface has been installed in an entertainment setting, and it might actually be a venue where the product takes hold. I have no intention of ever having a tabletop computer in my home or office, but it might be fun to play games on one in a bar. Plus, Vegas gives Microsoft the sexy cachet it’s never had. Although the Rio isn’t exactly the Wynn.
Yet despite all the ways the company could sell this new venture as "so hot it needs sunscreen," the press release instead describes it in the most technical, un-Vegas like terms: “The 360-degree user interface and massive multitouch capabilities of Microsoft Surface provide Harrah’s guests with an unprecedented social experience that infuses the best of technology with the best of Vegas nightlife.” Try reading that after a couple of appletinis. The Chief Information Officer at Harrah’s adds that this “is another example of our next-generation interactive customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities…”
What happens in next-generation interactive customer relationships, stays in next-generation interactive customer relationships.
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