I recently returned from my now annual trip to Las Vegas and I have to say I was more in-tune with the various technologies this trip over the last one. In a city that is famous for its over the top, self-indulgent atmosphere, it should come as no surprise that the technology that makes Vegas run has to be just as ostentatious.
We stayed at the relatively new Aria Resort & Casino, which had only been open for a couple of months the last time we were in Vegas. I was so intrigued by the design and atmosphere the first time I saw it that we decided to stay there for our recent trip. The technology that is throughout Aria is pretty impressive and a lot of thought was put into the design and functionality to make it a very energy efficient facility as well. Walking into our suite for the first time all of the curtains opened automatically, the lights turned on, the televisions and stereo system turned on, and the temperature was regulated throughout, which is standard for every room and not just the suites. Upon leaving, everything that turned on when entering the room turns off to conserve energy. It's pretty neat to think that a room is able to sense when a person is present to know when to activate and deactivate the technology. There was also a master control display in each bedroom and the living area that could be programmed to engage any of the technologies at any give time. One way we made use of this was for the curtains to open at a certain time in the morning rather than to be awoken by an annoying alarm clock. I could really go on about how neat everything was but I'll spare you the time and encourage you to check it out yourself.
Obviously security in the casino is a major point of concern, not just at Aria, but at all of the casinos. It's hard to even fathom that every single move that is made on a casino floor is being closely monitored by someone who has more than likely known every game you've played, how much you bet each time, and any idiosyncrasies you have, all thanks to technology. With advancements in technology, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) sensors have been added to the betting chips. These monitor your playing habits to help prevent people from counting cards and other illegal activities, but also assist in determining the type of player you are for compensation purposes. There are so many other measures that have been implemented in casinos to keep the playing safe and fun and most of them aren't known to anyone outside of the small circle of people involved with these things, though I can guarantee they use technology in some way.
A blog about Las Vegas technology would not be complete without at least a mention of entertainment. People from all over the world come not just to gamble, but to attend some of the most outrageous shows and spectacles ever created. During our trip we saw the Beatles Cirque du Soleil show (my second time, a must see) and Elton John's new show, The Million Dollar Piano (hands down the best concert I've ever been to). Now compared to the other show offerings on the strip these two were pretty tame, but even so, what the people involved with the shows are able to visualize and carry through is very impressive. The special effects and overall performance of the Beatles show is enough to have your mouth hanging open for most of the show in awe. Not to mention, the piano used in Elton John's performance was literally a million dollar piano due to the LED display on the side and unparalleled components inside; enough for it to take longer to build the piano than the Coliseum at Caesar's Palace where the show took place. Any other show you'd check out in Vegas would have just as many, if not more, special effects to make the show better than the one next door or down the strip. After all, they do need a reason to keep people coming back time after time and advancements in technology and the implementation of new ideas are certainly getting the job done.
Again, I could go on forever but the fact is, Las Vegas is so overwhelming that I could not touch on a fraction of what there is to offer and why technology has played a role in each attraction because I still haven't seen a lot of it myself. If you get the chance to go, try to look past the sequins and feathers for a little while and really pay attention to the detail and advanced technology that is present and every-changing to become the latest and greatest. I think you'll realize Vegas would not be nearly as interesting or exciting without it.