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Publication numberUS20050277467 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/868,396
Publication dateDec 15, 2005
Filing dateJun 14, 2004
Priority dateJun 14, 2004
Publication number10868396, 868396, US 2005/0277467 A1, US 2005/277467 A1, US 20050277467 A1, US 20050277467A1, US 2005277467 A1, US 2005277467A1, US-A1-20050277467, US-A1-2005277467, US2005/0277467A1, US2005/277467A1, US20050277467 A1, US20050277467A1, US2005277467 A1, US2005277467A1
InventorsJudy Karabin, James Stanek
Original AssigneeJcm American Corporation, A Nevada Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming machine using holographic imaging
US 20050277467 A1
Abstract
A gaming machine having a main game and a bonus game playable by a player. The bonus game includes an interactive holographic image with different areas on it. The holographic image, for example, can be that of a video screen and the areas can be different symbols on the screen. To play the bonus game the player selects the desired area or symbol and sticks his/her finger in it.
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Claims(33)
1. A gaming machine comprising:
a main game playable by a player of the gaming machine; and
generating means for generating an interactive holographic image actuable by the player as part of a bonus game following a successful result or outcome in the play of the main game.
2. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the holographic image includes different holographic symbols selectively actuable by the player by physically interacting with same.
3. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the main game is a video style slot machine.
4. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the main game includes a touch screen monitor.
5. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the main game is selectable by the player on a touch video display screen from a plurality of different games.
6. The gaming machine of claim 1 further comprising processor means for controlling the main game and the generating means.
7. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the generating means generates an attract-mode holographic image before the player starts playing the main game.
8. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the interactive holographic image includes a display screen with symbols therein.
9. The gaming machine of claim 1 wherein the generating means includes a holographic unit in a top box of the machine.
10. A gaming machine comprising:
a processor;
a main game controlled by the processor and playable by a player at the gaming machine;
an interactive holographic image projector system controlled by the processor; and
the projector system being adapted to project a holographic image including a plurality of image areas, at least one of the areas being selectable and actuable by the player by physically interacting with same as part of a bonus game after the player has achieved a successful result or outcome in the play of the main game.
11. The gaming machine of claim 10 wherein the holographic image includes a video screen, the image areas are symbols on the video screen, and the symbols are actuable by the player putting the player's finger in at least one of them, as desired.
12. A gaming machine comprising:
a main game having a first chance outcome and a second chance outcome when played by a player; and
a holographic image which is interactive with the player of the main game after the first chance outcome, but not after the second chance outcome, as part of a bonus game of the gaming machine.
13. The gaming machine of claim 12 wherein the holographic image is projected and visible to the player after the first chance outcome but not after the second chance outcome.
14. The gaming machine of claim 12 wherein the holographic image includes first and second holographic symbols between which the player can select and in which the player can insert the player's finger as part of the play of the bonus game.
15. A method of playing a gaming machine, comprising:
playing a main game of the gaming machine; and
when a winning outcome of the main game is achieved, playing a bonus game associated with the main game by interacting with an interactive holographic image from the gaming machine.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein the interactive holographic image includes a plurality of holographic interactive symbols.
17. The method of claim 16 wherein the playing the bonus game includes selecting at least one of the symbols and the interacting includes inserting one or more fingers into the at least one selected symbol.
18. The method of claim 15 wherein the main game is video poker.
19. The method of claim 15 wherein the main game is a video slot machine game.
20. The method of claim 15 wherein the playing the main game includes interacting with a video screen of the gaming machine.
21. The method of claim 15 wherein the playing the main game includes pressing at least one button of the gaming machine.
22. The method of claim 15 wherein the playing the main game includes pulling a handle of the gaming machine.
23. The method of claim 15 further comprising before the playing the main game, inserting money or money equivalent into the gaming machine.
24. A method of conducting a game of chance on a gaming machine, comprising:
executing a main game for play by a player on the gaming machine;
executing a bonus game for play by the player in the event a winning outcome results when the player is playing the main game;
the executing the bonus game includes projecting an interactive holographic image; and
determining the gaming outcome of the bonus game after the player interacts with the interactive holographic image.
25. The method of claim 24 further comprising before the executing the main game, receiving payment from the player.
26. The method of claim 24 further comprising after the determining the outcome, executing the main game for another play thereof by the player.
27. The method of claim 24 wherein the interactive holographic image includes an interactive holographic bonus screen.
28. The method of claim 27 wherein the interactive holographic bonus screen includes a plurality of symbols, at least one of which the player can interact with the player's hand.
29. The method of claim 24 further comprising at least some of the time when the interactive holographic image is not being projected, projecting an attract-mode holographic image associated with the gaming machine.
30. The method of claim 29 wherein the projecting the interactive holographic image and the projecting the attract-mode holographic image use the same hologram projector device of the gaming machine.
31. The method of claim 24 wherein the main game includes a touch screen monitor of the gaming machine.
32. The method of claim 24 wherein the main game includes user push buttons.
33. The method of claim 24 wherein the executing the main and bonus games are via a microprocessor.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The popularity of gaming machines, such as slot machines and video poker machines, depends on the likelihood or perceived likelihood of the player winning money at the machine and on the entertainment value of the machine to the player relative to other available gaming options. Where the available gaming options include a number of competing machines and the expectation of winning at each machine is perceived to be relatively the same, players will most likely be attracted to the most entertaining and exciting or different gaming machines.

One concept which has been used to enhance the entertainment value of gaming machines is that of a secondary or bonus game, which may be played in conjunction with a basic game. The bonus game may comprise any type of game, either similar to or completely different from the basic game, which is entered upon the occurrence of a selected event or outcome of the basic game. Generally, bonus games provide a greater expectation of winning than the basic games and may also be accompanied with additional attractive or unusual video displays and/or audio. Examples of bonus games are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,443,837 (Jaffe, et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 6,056,641 (Webb), U.S. Pat. No. 6,375,187 (Baerlocher), U.S. Pat. No. 6,203,492 (Demar, et al.), and U.S. Pat. No. 6,645,074 (Thomas, et al.), and in 2003/083121 (Cole, et al.), 2003/0064797 (Jackson, et al.), 2003/0119576 (McClintic, et al.), 2001/0054794 (Cole), and 2003/0119576 (Cole). (All patents and other publications mentioned anywhere in this disclosure are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.) Accordingly, there is a continuing need to develop gaming machines with new types of bonus games to satisfy the demands of the players due to the popularity of bonus games.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Disclosed herein is a gaming machine having a main game playable by a user. When one or more play outcomes of the main game are achieved, a bonus game is activated. When activated an interactive holographic image is generated in front of the player, preferably at between twelve and eighteen inches away from the player and at eye level. A preferred embodiment of the holographic image is a flat panel screen with a plurality of symbols thereon. As examples only, the symbols can be diamonds, fishermen, frogs or stars. The bonus screen is attained, for example, by matching a certain combination of symbols or numbers determined by the main game.

To play the bonus game, the player selects one (or more) of the holographic symbols and puts his/her finger in it. A redundancy feature can be included whereby the player is asked to confirm or verify that the symbol selected is actually the player's desired symbol. The interactive holographic system of the gaming machine identifies the selected symbol and the play of the bonus game is completed by the machine based on the selected symbol, and the outcome displayed or otherwise revealed to the player. The outcome can be a predetermined bonus prize, such as credits. One less preferred embodiment can have the same outcome no matter which symbol is selected. The player can then continue playing the main game or end his/her gaming play.

When the bonus game is completed, the interactive bonus game holographic image is turned off by the machine. When neither the main game nor the bonus game is being played (or at times when the bonus game is not being played) the hologram projector can project an attract-mode holographic image proximate to the physical gaming machine. This image is preferably not interactive and is designed to entice people to the machine and then to play the machine. In other words, except at the achieved bonus mode, a holographic image can be continuously displayed, preferably above the machine, to act as an “attract mode.” Once the bonus mode is achieved by a player, the attract mode disappears and projection begins as part of bonus play. When the bonus mode is concluded, the display returns to the attract mode. The attract mode can be a large diamond, or any number of objects used to create interest to play the game. The hologram is preferably visible only from the player's angle when in the “play mode” and visible at additional different angles or perspectives when in the “attract mode.”

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to those persons having ordinary skill in the art to which the present invention pertains from the foregoing description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a gaming machine of the present invention with the holographic image thereof in an attract mode;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the gaming machine of FIG. 1 showing the holographic image in an interactive bonus game mode and with a player playing the bonus game;

FIG. 3 is a flow chart showing a play method of the gaming machine of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic block diagram of the gaming machine of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings a gaming machine of the present invention is illustrated generally at 100. Machine 100 includes a chassis 110 enclosing or supporting the machine components and a “top box” 120 on top of the chassis 110. The top box 120 can house the holographic components as well as other features of the machine such as speakers and lights.

Mounted in the chassis 110 is a touch screen monitor 130, which has numbers or symbols which the player can select. The monitor 130 can also include a time out show currently being played, and a picture-in-picture ability to select another game while the current game is in the small screen. Buttons 150 or the like allow the player to control the play of the main game on the screen in addition to touch screen functions of the screen. The main game can be a video-style slot machine game, a video poker game or generally any “main game” as would be apparent to those skilled in the art. Instead of being button activated it can be pull-handle, joy stick or key pad activated or controlled. Instead of video screens, different types of display devices such as rotating wheels, liquid crystal displays, flat panel semiconductor display screens, polarized screen displays and holographic screens, such as mentioned in U.S. Pat. No. 5,934,672 (Sines, et al.), can be used.

An advertising panel 160 can be provided on a lower front face of the chassis 110. Currency notes, non-currency notes or coins can be inserted by a player through an opening in the chassis 110 to commence play and validated by a validator in the chassis. Currency notes or non-currency notes, or coins representing the “winnings” of the player can be discharged from the chassis 110 as is known in the art. The chassis 110 can further house or be connected to a printer and a player tracking on-line system.

Referring to FIG. 3, when a player plays the main game 160 and achieves a “winning result,” the interactive holographic unit in the top box 120 is activated (see step 170) and projects (see step 180) an interactive bonus holographic image or screen 180 in front of the player (see FIG. 2), such as between twelve and eighteen inches away from the player and at eye level (or for example six to twelve inches in front of the chassis 110). The player P plays the bonus game using the image or screen 180 (see step 190). When play is finished the holographic screen 180 is turned off, and play is returned to the main game, as depicted by step 200. As shown in FIG. 3, if the player does not achieve a “winning result” in the main game, the play ends, as depicted by step 204.

The interactive bonus holographic image 180 can be a video screen 210 with a plurality of symbols 220, such as stars, diamonds, dollar signs, and animals, thereon. The player P interacts with the image by selecting one of the symbols by putting his/her finger F “in” the selected symbol 220. The selected symbol 220 is noted by the interactive holographic image system of the machine 100, and the (processor controlled) machine plays the bonus round and displays the result to the player, such as on the video screen (or on the holographic image/screen). Other images aside from video screens and symbols can be used as would be apparent to those skilled in art; for example, the video screen can be omitted and the symbols can be “floating” in the air.

Holography is an imaging technique that uses laser light to record the patterns of light waves reflected from an object onto the emulsion of light sensitive film (or glass plates). When that film is developed, and re-exposed to laser light (or normal incandescent light like most holograms today), it re-creates, in space, all the points of light that originally came from the object. The resulting image, either behind or in front of the holographic film, has the dimensions of the original object and looks so real that observers are tempted to reach out and touch it, only to find nothing there but focused light.

Unlike photography or painting, holography can render a subject with complete dimensional fidelity. A hologram creates everything the eyes see, namely, depth, size, shape, texture, and relative position, from many points of view. In fact, the term “hologram” derives from the Greek words, holos, meaning “whole,” and gramma, meaning “message.”

The simplest version of 3-D image technology is based on a system of mirrors and lenses. The object whose image is being projected sits inside a pedestal, which projects the object's light into space above the pedestal, where the image is reformed. This is often a computer generated image, therefore the computer must be integrated into the system. The effect is as if the object itself is hovering above the pedestal's surface. See e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 6,056,641 (Webb), U.S. Pat. No. 5,316,303 (Trudeau, et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 4,818,048 (Moss), U.S. Pat. No. 6,339,486 (Popovich), and U.S. Pat. No. 6,512,607 (Windsor, et al.), and US 2003/0220134 (Walker, et al.), JP8155134A (Taito Corp.), and JP6273690A (Dainippon Printing Co., Ltd.).

“Interactive” holography is a technology known in other arts. It is described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,377,238 (McPhetens), U.S. Pat. No. 5,378,888 (Stapperts), U.S. Pat. No. 5,990,990 (Crabtree), U.S. Pat. No. 5,917,490 (Kuzunuki, et al.), and U.S. Pat. No. 6,281,878 (Montellese).

The bonus game “played” on the interactive holographic screen 180 can be rather simple by having the player's participation end after he/she has chosen the symbol 220. The result then can be a multiple, such as ten or fifty times, the point value achieved in the main game depending on the symbol-selected. For example, the bonus game can be a variation of the popular “Go Fish” game, where the player seeks the fish and the fisherman. Alternatively, the bonus game can be more complicated such as by requiring further interaction by the player with the holographic bonus screen 180, or less preferably by transferring further bonus game play to the main game video screen 130.

When the bonus game is not being played or when neither the bonus nor the main game is being played, the holographic unit can project an “attract mode” holographic image 230 proximate to the chassis 110, as shown in FIG. 1. The attract mode image 230 can be the same as the bonus game screen but not be interactive. Alternatively and preferably, the attract mode image can be a different image such as that of a diamond or of an attractive woman; the image can be static or changing such as flashing symbols, e.g., dollar signs. It also can be clearly seen from angles in addition to that of a player at the machine. The attract mode hologram as well as the playing of the games can be accompanied with audio sounds from speakers as shown in FIG. 4, and mentioned below.

As discussed above, the bonus game interactive holographic image 180 can require multiple interactions from the player. It can also change during bonus game play. A less desired alternative is for the holographic image to include a plurality of images from different holographic projectors. A further alternative of the present invention is to have the entire play of the gaming machine to be through interactive holographic images, both the bonus and main games; or there can be no bonus game, or the main game can employ one or more interactive holographic images and the bonus game can use another system (such as the video screen).

A schematic block diagram of the machine 100 is illustrated in FIG. 4 generally at 250. Referring thereto, it is seen to include a processor 260 which is connected to the RAM 270 and the ROM 280 and which controls or is controlled by the video controller 290, the touch screen controller 300, the touch screen 310 (or 130), the holographic board (and lighting device, touch grid device, and holographic plate) 320, the coin/bill acceptor 330, the input devices 340, the display devices 350, the sound card 360, and the speakers 370. The operation and construction of this machine 100 (or 250) would be readily understood by those skilled in the art from the above disclosure (and from the prior art such as U.S. Pat. No. 6,443,837 (Jaffe, et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 6,669,559 (Baerlocher, et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 6,645,074 (Thomas, et al.), and U.S. Pat. No. 6,375,187 (Baerlocher) and US 2003/0064797 (Jackson, et al.)).

From the foregoing detailed description, it will be evident that there are a number of changes, adaptations and modifications of the present invention which come within the province of those skilled in the art. The scope of the invention includes any combination of the elements from the different species or embodiments disclosed herein, as well as subassemblies, assemblies, and methods thereof. However, it is intended that all such variations not departing from the spirit of the invention be considered as within the scope thererof.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8100750 *Jan 5, 2007Jan 24, 2012Bally Gaming, Inc.Gaming machine with virtual user interface
US8127251 *Oct 31, 2007Feb 28, 2012Fimed Properties Ag Limited Liability CompanyMethod and apparatus for a user interface with priority data
US8212768Oct 31, 2007Jul 3, 2012Fimed Properties Ag Limited Liability CompanyDigital, data, and multimedia user interface with a keyboard
US8235794 *Nov 14, 2008Aug 7, 2012Bally Gaming, Inc.Gaming system having gaming machines with projected or polarized image reel symbols
US8235795 *Nov 14, 2008Aug 7, 2012Bally Gaming, Inc.Gaming method having gaming machines with projected or polarized image reel symbols
US8246456Jun 19, 2008Aug 21, 2012Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game machine with virtual input device
US8366541Jan 17, 2012Feb 5, 2013Bally Gaming, Inc.Gaming machine with virtual user interface
US8523673 *Dec 14, 2010Sep 3, 2013Markeith BoydVocally interactive video game mechanism for displaying recorded physical characteristics of a player in a virtual world and in a physical game space via one or more holographic images
US20100123286 *Nov 14, 2008May 20, 2010Bally Gaming, Inc.Gaming method having gaming machines with projected or polarized image reel symbols
US20100124974 *Nov 14, 2008May 20, 2010Bally Gaming, Inc.Gaming system having gaming machines with projected or polarized image reel symbols
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/31
International ClassificationG07F17/32, A63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3244, G07F17/3211, A63F2250/302
European ClassificationG07F17/32C2F, G07F17/32K
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 30, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: JCM AMERICAN CORPORATION, NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KARABIN, JUDY;STANEK, JAMES;REEL/FRAME:015749/0355
Effective date: 20040817