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Get the ‘surface’ experience

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PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – On May 3, Agua Caliente Casino, Resort, Spa in Rancho Mirage, and Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs joined the elite ranks of AT&T, Hard Rock International, MSNBC and Disney in offering guests access to Microsoft Surface, a high-tech, interactive surface computer available in only a few markets around the world.

The casinos, which are owned and operated by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, has two units in public areas for its guests to experience and enjoy.

Microsoft Surface, the first commercially available surface computer from Microsoft, is a revolutionary surface computing platform that responds to natural hand gestures and to the placement of real-world objects on the display. With a large, 360-degree, horizontal user interface, Microsoft Surface creates a unique gathering place where multiple users can collaboratively and simultaneously interact with information, content and physical objects, communicating with each other in a way that feels familiar, just like in the real world. In addition, Microsoft Surface enables companies to attract and convert new customers as well as cross-sell products and services, drive customer loyalty, and achieve operating efficiencies.

This is what the Microsoft Surface game screen for “waterscafe” looks like. The system is the first commercially available surface computer from Microsoft; it’s a revolutionary surface computing platform that responds to natural hand gestures and to the placement of real-world objects on the display.

The Microsoft Surface units have been a labor of love for the tribe’s Information Technology Department for the past year. The department has customized the unit and even built an entirely new gaming application from scratch called “Ghost in the Machine” in which a grey shadow mimics the guest’s every move. Other games include Chess, Checkers, Ice Shots (like Pong) and more.

“To be able to launch Microsoft Surface just a month after rolling out our iPhone app is a huge accomplishment for our IT department and the tribe. We are thrilled to be the only casino in California to provide our guests the opportunity to experience this amazing technology,” said Bill Oliver, chief information officer for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. “We are so fortunate to have the relationship with Microsoft and the reputation in the industry to make it happen.”

The Microsoft Surface units have been available for public use since May 3. Guests can find two at Agua Caliente Casino – one in the Waters Café bar and another at Java Caliente, the casino’s coffee shop. At Spa Resort Casino, guests can find Microsoft Surface in the Sundance Tequila Bar.