April 30, 2008

AT&T Shows Off Microsoft Kiosks

ms_surface_134.JPG AT&T customers have a new way to find out about the company's mobile phones, thanks to some new technology from Microsoft.

At the company's San Bruno store Thursday - and at four other stores around the nation - AT&T showed off some new touch-screen kiosks that allow consumers to get information about the company's latest phones and wireless offerings.

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Using one of six kiosks in the store, customers can find out the features in particular phones, compare the features with those in other phones, review service plan options and zoom in or out on an interactive coverage map.

"We believe it enhances our customer experience," said Peter Shankel, director of marketing for AT&T in Northern California.
The kiosks are based on and represent the first commercial rollout of Microsoft's new Surface technology. The technology is built around a tabletop display that simulates a touch screen through the use of cameras and projectors that detect and react to gestures. The Surface kiosks recognize devices by scanning a type of unique bar code affixed to the back of them.

The San Bruno store is the first AT&T store in the area to have the Surface kiosks. The company plans to install the devices in three other Bay Area stores next month, including one in the South Bay on Stevens Creek Boulevard, company officials said. The company eventually plans to roll out the kiosks to each of its 2,200 retail stores.

Although the kiosks only offer information today, AT&T expects to eventually allow consumers to conduct transactions through them, including transferring contacts to new phones, buying ring tones or even, potentially, signing up for new plans or phones. The kiosks might also eventually offer information on other AT&T services in the area, such as its broadband and television offerings, company officials said.

Posted by staff at April 30, 2008 03:49 PM