|Publication number||US20060014586 A1|
|Application number||US 10/892,541|
|Publication date||Jan 19, 2006|
|Filing date||Jul 14, 2004|
|Priority date||Jul 14, 2004|
|Also published as||CA2564433A1, EP1778375A1, EP1778375A4, EP1778375B1, WO2006019443A1|
|Publication number||10892541, 892541, US 2006/0014586 A1, US 2006/014586 A1, US 20060014586 A1, US 20060014586A1, US 2006014586 A1, US 2006014586A1, US-A1-20060014586, US-A1-2006014586, US2006/0014586A1, US2006/014586A1, US20060014586 A1, US20060014586A1, US2006014586 A1, US2006014586A1|
|Inventors||Jean-Marie Gatto, Sylvie Linard, Thierry Brunet De Courssou|
|Original Assignee||Cyberscan Technology, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (20), Referenced by (35), Classifications (8), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates generally to the field of casino gaming terminals and, more particularly, relates to an ergonomically designed “integral” gaming terminal configured to comfortably surround a player.
2. Copyright Notice/Permission
A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever. The following notice applies to the software and data as described below and in the drawings hereto: Copyright 2004, Cyberscan Technology Inc., All Rights Reserved.
3. Description of the Related Art
Traditional gaming terminals such as found in casinos are designed on the omnipresent 3-piece model comprising 3 separate elements. Gaming terminals based on this 3-piece model include a base (or bench) that is usually made of wood, a gaming cabinet that sits on top of the base, and a chair. Some manufacturers such as WMS Gaming are now proposing ergonomically improved cabinets such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,334,612 entitled Ergonomically Designed Gaming Machine. Other suppliers are proposing a 2-piece gaming terminal in which the base and the gaming cabinet are combined. In any event, it appears that, for current gaming terminals, the player's comfort in terms of what may be called body comfort, the player's video viewing comfort, the player's audio comfort and the design of the player interaction means (the player may play on the gaming terminal for a considerable number of hours) is always considered as an afterthought. In addition, players using such conventional gaming terminals are often subjected to the characteristic surrounding casino clatter and din, which may displease or even disturb music/sound aficionados accustomed to the high-quality sound available on current multimedia PCs and DVD home theaters.
Also, when two persons wish to play on one gaming terminal as a team or when a second person acts as a supporter, such as is the case in casinos located in areas attracting younger generation of players (beach casinos, holiday resorts, etc.) in which the players like to try their luck as a couple rather than individually, there are no provisions in conventional gaming terminals for accommodating a second player comfortably for an extended period of time.
Moreover, as computer controllers integrated in gaming terminals are rapidly adopting the generic PC architecture and windowing software such as Microsoft windows and Linux (whether embedded or not) and that the gaming industry is rapidly shifting to cashless payment operation, the cost of gaming machines hardware is declining.
There is, therefore, a need for new gaming terminals that address the comfort and usability issues discussed above. It is also clear that these issues offer the opportunity for gaming terminal manufacturers to differentiate their products and gain a competitive advantage by offering gaming terminals of greater appeal and increased functionality.
Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide an “integral” gaming terminal design configured to offer the player a comfortable, private, relaxing and entertaining gaming experience. The gaming experience may be augmented by personal services such as TV viewing and Internet access. The gaming terminals according to embodiments of the present invention may be networked within a distributed gaming system and may communicate in many ways with other machines, such as via a peer-to-peer communication protocol with other gaming terminals and/or with other secure web services. Such gaming terminals may participate in bonusing and progressive schemes locally within the gaming operator premises or globally with other gaming operations located in other geographic areas.
The gaming terminals according to embodiments of the present invention may be reserved in advance (for high rollers, for example). Alternatively, such gaming terminals may be configured to keep the player's identity and personal information private. Players of gaming terminals according to embodiments of the present invention may choose their own music or soothing sounds when playing. They may also securely communicate with others (players or PC users) within or outside the gaming premises using instant messaging technology such as Microsoft MSN/Windows Messenger that features text messaging, a personal contact list, voice communication, webcam communication and photo transfer (via file transfer), augmented with a personal calendar for organizing contact time and gaming events. The present gaming terminal may have the capability to process video and sound.
When a player is sitting in a gaming terminal and has not played any games or utilized some other functionality of the terminal for a predetermined period of time that may be determined by the casino operator, the gaming terminal may transmit a signal to both the player and the operator to prevent prolonged non-play time. Although the present gaming terminal may include soothing and relaxing services (such as massaging in the chair and leg rest, for example), the player should not stop playing, and in particular should be prevented from falling asleep.
According to an embodiment of the present invention, the gaming terminal may be a one-piece apparatus that may include a video display or multiple displays, interactive devices (such as, for example, touch screen(s), buttons, keypad(s), joystick(s) and the like), payment instruments (cash or cash-less), a control computer, a chair and an overhead sound system. The overhead sound system provides the player with a private digital quality audio source and isolates the player from the surrounding ambient casino noise. Such a gaming terminal may include a headset that may feature mobile opaque or semi-transparent panels to isolate the player from parasitic light. Alternatively, players having a personal headset such as a Bluetooth (for example) mobile phone headset may use it to listen to the sound produced by the gaming terminal via a dedicated Bluetooth (or functionally similar) link. Alternatively, again, players may plug their personal MP3/WMA/AAC (among other possible formats) players into a port provided in the gaming terminal in order to listen to their favorite music via the gaming terminal's overhead sound system.
According to another embodiment, the gaming terminal may further include interactive devices such as a joystick that may be integrated within the armrests of the gaming terminal's chair or alternatively, on a telescopic arm.
The gaming terminal may further include a television set integrated within the armrest of the chair or alternatively, on a telescopic arm.
The present gaming terminal may further include on-line access to casino services and/or generic Internet access. Generic Internet access may be independent from the casino services, but should be isolated so as not to interfere with casino's regulated software and security.
Also, embodiments of the present gaming terminal may further include means for allowing two or more players to seat conformably and play as a team.
Accordingly, one embodiment of the present invention is an integral gaming terminal for wagering on games, the integral gaming terminal being ergonomically configured to accommodate a seated player. The gaming terminal may include a frame; a first display fitted to the frame, the first display having at least one screen; a seat fitted to the frame; a payment accepting and/or dispensing device; a game wagering controller for controlling the wagering on the games; game interaction devices for enabling the player to interact with the games; a sound generator for generating sound, and means, coupled to the sound generator, for delivering sound to the player. The sound delivering means may be configured to deliver the sound close to the player's ears.
The sound delivering means may be fitted to the frame and/or to or above the seat, for example. The frame may be a generally U-shaped armature having a bottom end, a first top end and a second top end, the bottom end being configured to rest on or to be attached to a floor surface; the first display being fitted near the first top end, the seat being fitted near the second top end. The sound delivering means may be fitted to the frame near the second top end and above the seat. The integral gaming terminal may further comprise an integral armrest fitted to the frame and/or to the seat, for example. The payment accepting and/or dispensing device may be fitted to the frame and/or to the seat, and/or to the armrest, for example. The gaming terminal may further include a second display fitted to the frame and/or the seat, to enable the player to view predetermined TV channels or video streams. The seat may further include an armrest and the second display may be attached to the armrest. The sound generator may be configured to generate and the sound delivering means may be configured to deliver: audio feedback while gaming or navigating through gaming options; game operator messages or announcements; prerecorded sound or music selected by the player via an (a jukebox-like, for example) interface; audio streaming, and/or soothing sounds, for example. The sound generator may include means for active or passive sound cancellation to isolate the player from surrounding noise. The integral gaming terminal may also include means for isolating the player from surrounding light. Such means may include, for example, an orientable opaque, semi-opaque or tinted panel, or a drop down filtering visor or goggles, for example, to isolate the player from surrounding light.
The ergonomic gaming terminal may also include ergonomic adjustment means coupled to the first display, the seat, the cash accepting and dispensing device, the game interaction devices and/or the sound delivering means, for example. The ergonomic adjustment means may include, for example, mechanical adjustment means, motorized adjustments means, tilt/rotation adjustments means, computer controlled adjustment means, remotely controlled adjustments means controllable via a joystick or a touch screen, and/or means for adjusting ergonomic parameters according to pre-stored user parameter profiles. The ergonomic adjustment means may include predetermined configuration settings to facilitate the player sitting in and standing up from the integral gaming terminal.
The game wagering controller may further include means for allowing the player secure access to PC functions according to a predetermined scheme. The predetermined scheme may include a gaming quota, pay per use, a promotion and/or a bonus, for example. The PC functions may include, for example, Internet browsing, email access, instant messaging, stock market, music playing, video playing, video conferencing and/or travel and entertainment bookings, to name a few of possible services that may be made available to the player.
The integral gaming terminal may include massaging mechanisms for massaging the player, such as mechanisms for massaging the player's back, mechanisms for massaging the player's arms, mechanisms for massaging the player's leg and/or foot, for example. The massaging mechanisms may include thumbing mechanisms, vibrating mechanisms, rolling mechanisms, kneading mechanisms, percussion mechanisms, and/or mechanisms for applying therapeutic compression, among other possibilities. The integral gaming terminal may also include an adjustable footrest fitted to one of the chair and the frame. The game interaction devices may include an adjustable console that may include at least one of play buttons and/or a joystick, for example.
The game wagering controller may be configured to communicate with a central computer system via a network and/or to communicate with other gaming terminals via a network. The integral gaming terminal may also include one or more communication device configured to enable instant personal communication with participating players on other gaming terminals. The communication device may be configured to implement, for example, text messaging, a personal contact list, voice communication, webcam communication and photo transfer and/or a personal calendar for organizing contact time and gaming events, among other possible services that may be made available to the player.
The sound generator may include audio input means to enable the sound delivering means to deliver audio from a personal audio player. The audio input means may be configured for wired and/or wireless operation. The integral gaming terminal may include a signal generator configured to generate a signal when a seated player has not placed a wager for a predetermined amount of time. The signal generator may be configured to send the generated signal to a central computer system, send the generated signal to a floor manager of a casino, and/or communicate to the player to inform the player that services available on the gaming terminal are reserved for active players.
According to another embodiment thereof, the present invention is an integral gaming terminal for wagering on games, and is ergonomically configured to accommodate at least two seated participating players. Such a gaming terminal may include a frame; a first display fitted to the frame, the first display having at least one screen; a seat fitted to the frame for each of the at least two participating players or alternatively a double seat; a payment accepting and/or dispensing device; a game wagering controller for controlling wagering on the games, the game wagering controller being configured to operate as if the at least two seated participating players are one player; game interaction devices to enable the at least one player to interact with the games; a sound generator for generating sound, and means for delivering sound coupled to the sound generator.
Another embodiment of the present invention is a network of at least two gaming terminals for wagering on games, each of the at least two gaming terminals being ergonomically configured to accommodate at least one seated participating player. Each gaming terminal of the network of gaming terminals includes a frame; a first display fitted to the frame, the first display having at least one screen; a seat fitted to the frame for each of the at least two participating players; a payment accepting and/or dispensing device; a game wagering controller for controlling wagering on the games; a communication device configured to enable communication between the at least two gaming terminals, the communication device being configured for at least one of data, voice, and video communication; game interaction devices to enable interaction with the games; a sound generator for generating sound, and means, coupled to the sound generator, for delivering sound.
In the following detailed description of exemplary embodiments of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration specific exemplary embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that logical, mechanical, electrical and other changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims.
The adjustments detailed above may be made manually via hand-locking mechanisms or electrically via motorized mechanisms. Motorized mechanisms may be activated via switches and joysticks (such as for adjusting car exterior mirrors) or via the touch screen. According to an embodiment of the invention, all or some of the above-described adjustments may be memorized together with the player profile (when a player card is used for example, whereby personal parameters related to the player identity, activity and habits are recorded in a central server or a smart card), so the player may recall personalized ergonomic adjustments each time he or she plays on a similar gaming terminal. Embodiments of the present gaming terminal are not limited to the adjustments described above and shown in the drawings, as other ergonomic adjustments may be provided. Any motorized and/or memorized gaming terminal ergonomic adjustments is thus considered to be within the scope of the present inventions.
According to an embodiment of the invention, the motorized adjustments may have a special setting that facilitates entry and exit of the player into and out of the seated position, including putting away the overhead sound system.
As noted above, embodiments of the present invention may include integrated relaxation mechanisms such as back massage devices integrated in the seat, leg/foot massage devices so that the player may enjoy body relaxing while playing. Such massaging mechanisms may include, for example, means for thumbing, vibrations, rolling, kneading, percussion, therapeutic compression or a combination thereof.
According to an embodiment of the present invention, the overhead sound system 106 may include active or passive noise-canceling or noise attenuation electronics to eliminate or attenuate ambient noise. The player may listen to the sounds generated by the game as well as selected songs or soothing music, all the while being substantially isolated from surrounding noise. The songs and music may be made available by the casino operator via a jukebox screen selection, or alternatively, the player may plug his personal MP3/WMA/AAC (among other possible formats) compatible portable player to an wired or wireless input line of the gaming terminal 102 in order to listen to his or her favorite music via the overhead sound system 106 while playing. The present integrated gaming terminal may also include devices for isolating the player from surrounding and parasitic light. Such devices may include, for example, one or more opaque or tinted panels or a drop down filtering visor or goggles. Such light isolation devices may be fitted or integrated into the overhead sound system.
Personal preference settings such as sound level, sound environmental rendering (studio effect, hall effect, cathedral effect, etc.), and/or music type (for example) may be memorized together with player profile.
According to an embodiment of the invention, the button console including the control buttons 1310, joystick 1312 and/or other controls may be fitted on a telescoping arm or a deployable arm (not shown) mounted on the integrated armrest 904 such that the play buttons and/or joystick/mouse may be adjusted to the player's favorite ergonomic position. The telescoping arm or a deployable arm may be motorized and memorized together with the player profile.
The gaming terminal may further comprise on-line access to casino services or generic Internet access. Generic Internet access may be independent from the casino services, but should securely isolated such as not to interfere with casino regulated software and security.
According to another embodiment depicted in
In an alternative embodiment, two (or more) individual gaming terminals may be networked together (distance between the terminals not being a factor) such as to act as a single gaming machine in which one of the gaming terminal is selected as the master gaming machine and the other(s) gaming machines is/are slaved to the master gaming machine. In that case, the credit balance and the game outcome are common to all ganged gaming terminals. The gaming software of the participating networked terminals may be configured to provide the same features as described above. In addition, each individual gaming terminal may comprise voice and/or video communication (such as a webcam) to enable direct communication between the team members.
Indeed, in order to maximize revenue, such multi-player arrangement in which several gaming terminals act as a single gaming machine may be reserved for high-stake players or to boost play at times of low casino activity.
According to another alternative embodiment, team players may elect to play completely individually each on a separate gaming terminal machine (terminals are configured for conventional gaming), but elect to join with other team members in such a way that the play selection and performance of others may be seen by all on their screen, as a video insert for example. In this manner, players may be stimulated by the good performance of the bigger winners and try to catch-up by persevering in continuing to play. The gaming software of the participating terminals is configured to provide the features described.
The described and illustrated embodiments set out ergonomically adjustable “integral” gaming terminals configured to comfortably surround the player and provide audio isolation from the surroundings as well as dispense favorite music, secure access to the Internet, access to news information, communicate with others, play against others, play as a team and provide body relaxing. Some entertainment, relaxing and information services may be activated for an additional fee, if a bonus or quota is attained or according to a promotional scheme. If the player stops playing for an extended predetermined period of time, a warning signal may be generated and communicated to the player and/or to the casino's floor manager, for example.
Embodiments of the invention may accommodate two (or more) seated players to allow the players to play comfortably as a couple or team for extended periods.
As computer controllers integrated in gaming terminals are rapidly adopting the generic PC architecture and windowing software such as Microsoft windows and Linux (embedded or not-embedded) and that payment is rapidly shifting to cashless, the cost of gaming machines hardware is declining. The present inventions provide attractive means to differentiate gaming terminals for the competition and consequently prevent or avoid erosion of profit margins.
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|Cooperative Classification||G07F17/3227, A47C15/004, G07F17/3216|
|European Classification||G07F17/32E2, G07F17/32C4, A47C15/00P|
|Sep 14, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CYBERSCAN TECHNOLOGY, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:GATTO, JEAN-MARIE;LINARD, SYLVIE;BRUNET DE COURSSOU, THIERRY;REEL/FRAME:015125/0965;SIGNING DATES FROM 20040909 TO 20040914
|Feb 20, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CYBERVIEW TECHNOLOGY, INC.,CALIFORNIA
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:CYBERSCAN TECHNOLOGY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:018907/0367
Effective date: 20070109