Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

January 8, 2010

Updated: Harrah's To Launch iPhone App

Posted by Hunter

The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that Harrah's will be launching an iPhone app sometime this month.

This sort of thing is inevitable - I expect more of this to come.

What's not really mentioned in the article though - GPS doesn't really work indoors. On the iPhone, it falls back to cell-tower triangulation which is not very accurate (it could tell you that you were on The Strip but not that you were specifically inside Caesars) - that's a problem that I combat with Vegas Mate too. I'd invest in high-quality interior maps if I could use them that way.

Now, the other way an iPhone can locate itself is through registered Wi-Fi access points - if Harrah's is installing and registering Wi-Fi stations, that would improve the ability to locate indoors (for Vegas Mate too - it all works the same way). That would be great for everyone.

The author also refers to the app 'text messaging' users. I assume they mean Push Notifications, which are like text messages but are not really the same thing. It's a pretty high level article so I guess the specific details aren't too terribly important.

I haven't tried the app yet but I certainly will. In the meantime, the far more comprehensive Vegas Mate is on sale this week for the bargain price of $1.99.

Update: Is this 'Caesars Palace' app on the App Store the app they're talking about? If so, it's already out... and quite basic. Looks like basically a brochure in app form. Also, it appears to download each screen of data as you move through the app. That means it won't work offline for iPod Touch users. If this is the app they're talking about, count me underwhelmed.


Read archived comments (6 so far)
January 8, 2010 9:45 AM Posted by Tan

This is amazing technology at it's best (or worst?). Boy would I hate to get spam ads when walking, for example, through a strip..

I can see user privacy groups going against

January 8, 2010 10:00 AM Posted by parchedearth

I haven't found the text messaged offers at various properties to be of any use. They end up being more of an annoyance than a help. Each property needs to have a tech savy marketer who has the power to make up offers on the fly. For example, If a nightclub is only half-full at midnight then text offer free admission to the next 100 people who show up.

What I need most from an App are scalable maps of the property, a map of the strip and downtown, and the hours for each restaurant and club.

January 8, 2010 10:11 AM Posted by mike_ch

I feel so loved.

I mentioned the CP app a couple days ago, and they made sure to respond that they're not really finished with it yet.

January 8, 2010 12:51 PM Posted by GregoryZephyr

I think what happens is that a lot of good ideas get so watered down in a corporate environment that they become almost useless. I can just imagine this scenaro:

Harrah's tech guy: Lets make an app that could track down our visitors and present info to them.
Harrah's marketing guy: Cool, we can generate offers based on where they are!
Harrah's marketing gal: So, if a guest walks past the ice cream shop, we could give them an offer for a half off ice cream cone!
Harrah's marketing guy: Yeah, but what if they were on their way to the Italian restaurant. We end up substituting a $20 sale with a $5 sale.
Harrah's tech guy: What if we presented a map of the resort so the guest could see where they are?
Harrah's marketing gal: I don't know. Maybe they would use it to find the closest exit.
Harrah's marketing guy: Yeah, let's just put some generic content into it.
3 months later. Harrah's Exec: So, how did that new app work out?
Harrah's marketing guy: Not very well. No one really used it. I think we should just drop it.

January 8, 2010 3:39 PM Posted by chuckmonster

GregoryZephyr: brilliant.

January 8, 2010 4:25 PM Posted by cgriff

Ugh. I already grow weary of the term "app".