AT&T demos Surface for in-store experience

At a press luncheon, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega announced that his company will be the first to deploy Microsoft's Surface technology in their stores. Microsoft's Surface is a table with a 30" multitouch, multi-user interactive display. In AT&T stores it will be used as a means for users to access information about devices, rate plans and services. Microsoft's Surface has object recognition technology, so if a device is placed on the table, the surface displays information on that device. A user can even place multiple devices on the Surface side-by-side and the table will compare and contrast them. The user interface on Surface was designed by Microsoft's team, while some of the retail side applications were mostly designed by AT&T's design team with help from Avenue A/Razorfish.

AT&T will launch a pilot of the Surface in a few stores starting April 17, de la Vega said. AT&T stores in New York City, Atlanta, San Antonio and San Francisco will be the first to offer Surface.

Microsoft's Robbie Bach noted that his company is still working with other carriers, including T-Mobile USA, which is still evaluating the technology. AT&T is the first to launch Surface because the carrier took a "very aggressive" approach to launching the technology from the very beginning, Bach said.

For more on the Surface announcement:
- check out this slideshow from the AT&T press demo
- read the Surface launch press release