Microsoft Surface... The Future of the Sports Industry

"With Surface, we now see a day when every desk can be a computer, and it's not only your desk but maybe your kitchen countertop, the table in your breakfast nook, the mirror in your hallway or, at work, the conference room table." - Mark Bolger, Senior Director of Marketing, Microsoft Surface Computing

It is only a matter of time before Microsoft Surface becomes the most discussed topic in the sports industry. The technology is here - AT&T retail stores in NY, Atlanta, San Antonio, and San Francisco debuted the technology last month...

The Microsoft Surface phenomenon will be the new wave in technology that all teams are looking to capture... Taking a look at how technology has evolved over the past thirty (30) years in the sports industry, it comes as no suprise that teams will be looking for "the next best thing" now that the LED/High Def scoreboard craze is startign to lapse...

microsoft_surface.jpgBut how exactly will Microsoft Surface technology affect the sports industry?

  • Suite Levels
    • Picture all persons seated in the stadium suite level with technology at their fingertips. Instead of walking out to grab a drink, waiting for a hostess, or using a "loaded concessions/merchandise" card, consumers will be able to order concessions and merchandise through the countertops of the tables they are seated at.
  • Press Row/Courtside Seating
    • Courtside seating will be taken to a whole new level... The media, PA announcer, statistics officials, and fans with elite courtside seats will be treated to touchscreen technology that will amplify their game experience and relieve some of the stresses of their game responsibilities... What exactly will this technology be able to do for these individuals? Time will tell...
  • Promotions
    • Soft-drink cups could have tags printed on the bottom, which, when placed on the Surface counter, could then call up promotions. Teams could also place tags on premium items, which could activate a trailer on Microsoft Surface promoting upcoming movies, product offers, and additional information relevant to consumers.
  • Digital Content
    • Teams could load the Microsoft Surface with music files, wallpapers, screensavers, and ring tones that consumers could load directly onto their phone by simply dragging the file with their finger.

What is Microsoft Surface?

  • Microsoft Surface is an emerging technology that allows users to touch digital content with their fingers and a flick of a hand. Freed from the limited of a click or key, users can touch dozens of locations. Because of those multiple points of contact and the surface size, it is intended for multi-user applications. Microsoft is basically repositioning the tabletop by taking what was an inactive surface and turning it into a vibrant interactive display.

How is Microsoft introducing the technology and what is the price point?

  • Microsoft is using a model similar to the introduction of plasma TVs. The company is focusing on leisure, entertainment, and retail sectors where consumers can familiarize themselves with the technology while Microsoft works to reduce the price point, which is currently around $10,000 a unit for commercial partners.
  • Microsoft has received more than 3,000 partner inquiries from 50 different industries across 25 different countries since the product's introduction and figures that Surface can be a $2-3BN market by 2010.

Source: The Power of Touch, Adweek (5.19.2008)

Check out the videos below... this technology is amazing!