Table talk takes on touching meaning

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 December, 2010, 12:00am

Karaoke clubs are about to become much more than places where people sing - often very badly - with the help of a machine which provides words and musical back-up.

Soon customers will be able to play music or games, take photos, order food or even pay bills with several taps on a waterproof touch-screen table surface.

Six of the Microsoft Surface multi-touch tables, will be available in Red MR, a new karaoke venue which opens on Saturday backed by bma investment chairman Steven Lo Kit-sing.

When wine is served at the table it can display details such as grape type and origin by recognising a special code label stuck to the bottom of the bottle.

Five infrared cameras installed underneath the table surface can capture 80 to 100 touch points at a time, supporting many customers.

The tables, which run on Windows 7 and use cloud platform technology, cost HK$300,000 each. About 60 tables will be available at Lo's two karaoke branches by April.

Lo said the table could change people's concepts of karaoke boxes.

'I would not call it a karaoke box anymore - it is an entertainment hub. People can do more with this table than simply singing songs,' he said.

He said when deals had been finalised, customers would be able to use the table to pay bills with credit cards or Octopus cards, call taxis or download songs to their smartphones.