T-Mobile taps "Surface" to up in-store experience

T-Mobile USA is looking to increase its in-store experience with what could be an expensive deal to install the brand new coffee table computers Microsoft just announced at a Wall Street Journal conference today. T-Mobile USA, Starwood Hotels and Harrah's Entertainment will be among the first retailers to make use of their touch-screen computers in November.

Microsoft's "Surface" technology (named "PlayTable"), includes a 30-inch tabletop PC with a gestural touch interface. The company is touting the table's multi-touch, multi-user interface as an ideal solution for restaurants, clubs and hotels and it certainly looks like it would lend a futuristic feel to otherwise mundane tasks. In a demo on the "Today Show" this morning (video link below), Microsoft chairman Bill Gates showed off a number of the table's capabilities: auto-sensing a credit card, downloading photos from a camera over WiFi and even finger painting. The products runs to about $10,000. The Surface box consists of a 30" display, an underside projector and a series of motion-tracking cameras that feed into a 1Ghz Windows Vista PC.

For more on Surface:
- see this video of Bill Gates on the "Today Show"
- this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)
- and the official Surface website