Harrah’s Entertainment Launches Microsoft Surface at Rio iBar, Providing Guests With Innovative and Immersive New Entertainment Experiences
Harrah’s reinvents flirting and offers new uninhibited fun and play to iBar patrons.
LAS VEGAS — June 2008 — Harrah’s Operating Company Inc., a subsidiary of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., and Microsoft Corp. today announced the debut of Harrah’s first Microsoft Surface deployments at iBar ultra-lounge located at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Harrah’s is the first company to deploy a suite of customized applications for Microsoft Surface and to install it in an entertainment venue, providing guests with uniquely personalized and engaging social experiences with the Surface units.
Microsoft Surface, the first commercially available surface computer from Microsoft, is a 30-inch tablelike display that individuals or multiple people can interact with digital content in a way that feels familiar by using touch, gestures or objects from the real world. Without a mouse or keyboard, 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.
With the unique interaction that Microsoft Surface enables, Harrah’s has created an innovative suite of custom applications to provide guests with hip new ways to create their very own ultimate entertainment experience in an ultra-lounge venue.
• Flirt Vegas style by adding a hip ultra-lounge vibe to the flirting experience. This application allows guests to create an exciting new way to chat and meet people from one Surface to another. Strategically placed video cameras at each Surface add even more energy to the action, allowing guests to interact with old friends, flirt with new acquaintances, and take and send photos across the lounge.
• Mixologists are inspired to create and order their own signature cocktails for themselves or to send to that special someone across the room using Surface and Harrah’s intuitive food and beverage application.
• Hip-notic describes how guests will feel when kicking back to find and view the latest and most popular online videos with their friends on Surface.
• Head Games are taken to a whole new level with Harrah’s creative suite of play-for-fun games. With the unique Surface interface, Harrah’s adds an exciting new take on some old favorites such as High Roller bowling, Dissed multiplayer pickup pinball, and a Last Call musical memory game that encourage the whole group to play together. Leaderboards add excitement as guests compete with one another to see who can climb to the top of the scoreboard.
In addition to Harrah’s unique applications and play-for-fun games, the Surface units also feature a photos application and a virtual concierge application developed by Microsoft that Harrah’s customized for its environment.
• See and Be Scene is what guests can do as they tour all of Harrah’s Vegas properties and explore attractions in Vegas without leaving their seat at the iBar.
• Virtual Vegas aptly describes how guests will take a virtual walk down the Las Vegas strip on Surface, letting their fingers be the guide. Guests will be able to get information on the latest events and attractions at all Harrah’s properties throughout Vegas.
“At Harrah’s we are continually working to advance our innovation agenda and create unique, compelling and innovative guest experiences and unparalleled guest service,” said Tim Stanley, Harrah’s CIO and senior vice president of innovation, gaming and technology. “With Microsoft Surface, Harrah’s is designing new and exciting ways to engage our millions of existing customers as well as offering a new genre of guests innovative opportunities to discover the uninhibited excitement of our venues. This launch of Microsoft Surface into our business is another example of our next-generation interactive customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities that aim to deliver personalized, interactive and immersive experiences for guests as they spend time at our properties.”
“People continue to be excited about the endless possibilities of Surface technology and how it can transform everyday scenarios, including the social and entertainment space,” said Pete Thompson, general manager for Microsoft Surface. “With this latest deployment of Surface, we’re now bringing some of those possibilities to life and showcasing the breadth of opportunities Microsoft Surface provides to innovative businesses like Harrah’s.”
Harrah’s launches Microsoft Surface at the Rio iBar on June 11, 2008, and expects to pilot Surface via a variety of venues, applications and activities throughout the year. Additional information on the launch can be found at http://www.harrahs.com or http://www.surface.com.
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