The over-the-top reception given Apple's new iPad demonstrates how interactivity-crazy the world has become. Now restaurants are looking for a smart way to tap into this unquenchable thirst for all things digital.
They think they have one at the new 284-seat Media Grill + Bar inside the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Its whiz- bang technology is as big a draw as the operation's American bistro cuisine and bustling bar scene.
Yes, they've got the requisite TVs: 26 HD units — plus a 103-inch plasma model that's the largest one commercially available. But the bigger story is how the place emphasizes connectivity and interactivity.
For example, there's free Wi-Fi, ever-changing LED lighting and Bluetooth filing capability. A multi-touch “Moovit” Displax interactive floor projects images and reacts when customers walk over it.
The centerpiece is the i-Bar, whose flat surface features iPad-like touch-sensitivity that controls lighting to produce eight interchangeable effects and can accommodate customized logos and messaging. Even better, six electrical outlets allow customers to recharge their personal digital devices while they drink.
The previous occupant of this 7,500-sq.-ft. space was the Crocodile Disco. This $5 million makeover puts the operation more in tune with the times. The big key: the restaurant doesn't just have technology; cutting-edge tech gear is its entire theme. It seems like a logical way to attract the iPad-loving hordes.