Applications and Tools, Virtual World Platforms

Microsoft’s Surface Table Surfaces in Vegas

Elaine Alhadeff writes a post on the implementation of Microsoft’s new Surface tables at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Surface is the company’s tabletop game/social networking/drink ordering initiative. It’s kind of like the iPhone in terms of touch-screen usability, only the surfaces are bigger, with the surface built into a 30-inch flat screen and the ability to move items around using fingertips. At the Vegas hotel, the tables are used “to order drinks, watch YouTube videos, play touch-screen games and even flirt with each other.” Anne-Marie Roussel, who manages the Entertainment portfolio at Microsoft Startup Zone, gives more details about the launch.

Microsoft aims to implement Surface in more retail and entertainment locations with the goal being, according to its Web site, to initiate a “fundamental change in the way we interact with digital content.” Besides the ability to move objects around and use a program called “Flirt” to, well, flirt with those nearby, Surface also allows multiple users to sit around a single screen and manipulate the items on the screen, as in this photo from Alhadeff’s posting:

While the focus on virtual worlds has been on decoupling them from the client – light versions, Flash versions, and phone versions – the next level of innovation will come as much from the devices used to access them as the worlds themselves.

Drinks over a table of Second Life anyone?


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