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Microsoft Surface for the hospitality industry

This is the fourth installment in a series of blogs where I have been touching upon applications of Microsoft Surface across industry verticals like banking, automobile and retail stores. Here let's take a look at how Surface has been creating an impact in the hospitality industry - essentially hotels and food/beverage establishments.

Hotel chains have been taking interest in providing Surface at their lobbies to improve their overall customer experience. Sheraton Hotels in the US was one of the early adopters of Surface and installed the device at several hotel lobbies allowing customers to discover city highlights, play music videos and view information about Sheraton hotels worldwide (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2008/aug08/08-13SheratonMSSurfacePR.aspx). A video can be found here. Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts has been leveraging Surface to provide concierge services, information on points of interest along with interactive maps to its guests (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/ds/docs/ihg-surface.doc). Hotel 1000 at Seattle is another example where Microsoft Surface has been successfully leveraged to engage customers (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/surface/archive/2008/12/15/hotel-1000-and-microsoft-surface.aspx).

Having looked at hotels, let's see some other hospitality industry examples. A striking example of an integrated digital experience based on Microsoft technologies is Red MR, a chain of karaoke bars in Hong Kong. They have gone all out in providing the very best of the digital world to their customers by providing a combination of Microsoft Surface, Kinect, Phone and cloud computing. Using the Surface application customers can order food and drinks, select songs and play games. The video is quite interesting. Similarly, Hard Rock has installed Surface at several of its outlets and uses it to showcase the thousands of music memorabilia to enhance customer experience. See the video here. The iBar at Rio all-suite Hotel & Casino at Las Vegas has leveraged Surface to provide games, shows and local information (http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/casestudiesrioibar.aspx).  Here is the video

With these examples, we see that Microsoft Surface is indeed a significant differentiator for hotels and food/beverage establishments, while providing better customer experience. With the new 2.0 version of Surface, we can expect increased interest and adoption in the days to come.

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