updated 12:40 pm EDT, Wed April 2, 2008
AT&T first with MS Surface
AT&T on Wednesday announced it will be the first company in the world to use Microsoft's Surface computer in select retail stores. The multi-touch screen will allow customers to explore the mobile service provider's products and services. The computer's object recognition abilities also allow it to transfer digital content to devices via integrated Bluetooth 2.0 or built-in Wi-Fi and network capability, giving AT&T the ability to upload content to shoppers' cell phones.
Customers will be able to place demo phones on the screen to get more information on features, specs and functions, and even compare two side-by-side in the same way. Their own phones, if supported by AT&T's network, can also be updated with ringtones, music and videos.
Microsoft Surface is made up of a 30-inch touchscreen display built into the top of a coffee table that has the ability to sense touch and scan barcode-like ID tags of products, making it ideal for commercial use. Surface can recognize dozens of points of contact, allowing multiple users to interact with content simultaneously.
AT&T will have the Surface up and running on April 17 in its New York City, Atlanta, San Antonio and San Francisco stores.