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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 June 2008, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Touchscreen bar tables launched
By Jim Reed
Newsbeat technology reporter

Touchscreen table
In the future the tables could be used for gambling

Microsoft has installed its first touchscreen bar table at the Rio All-Suite Casino in Las Vegas.

Gamblers can order drinks, design their own cocktails and flirt with other punters using the device.

A camera behind the 30 inch horizontal touchscreen detects hand movements and gestures.

The 5,000 table displays real-time information about the casino's restaurants, shows, nightclubs and other attractions.

Microsoft says drinks can be left, and spilt, on the monitor without breaking it.

It also features a 'flirt' application, which lets customers at different tables chat with each other, exchange photos and swap telephone numbers.

Touchscreen push

Microsoft boss Bill Gates thinks that touch and gesture based computing will be a big growth area in the future.

The next version of Windows will feature some touch-based applications.

The computer giant launched its Surface division last year to sell its touchscreen technology to companies and other organisations.

Women use touchscreen table
Gamblers can find out information about the casino's attractions

In April, it installed its first tables in a handful of shops owned by the American telephone company AT&T.

That system can recognise eight different mobile phones when they are placed on the surface and display information about their features.

Gambling tables

Microsoft has installed six more tables at the 2,500-room Rio All-Suite under a deal with its owner, Harrah's.

It is the first time the system has been used in an entertainment venue.

Tim Stanley from Harrah's said the tables could also be used to offer new ways to gamble in the future.

He said: "Of all the goodies up our sleeves lately, this is one of the most dramatic. In a different point in my life, I might use flirt a lot."

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