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Publication numberUS20080176642 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/937,863
Publication dateJul 24, 2008
Filing dateNov 9, 2007
Priority dateNov 10, 2006
Publication number11937863, 937863, US 2008/0176642 A1, US 2008/176642 A1, US 20080176642 A1, US 20080176642A1, US 2008176642 A1, US 2008176642A1, US-A1-20080176642, US-A1-2008176642, US2008/0176642A1, US2008/176642A1, US20080176642 A1, US20080176642A1, US2008176642 A1, US2008176642A1
InventorsGareth Phillips, Scott Olive, Lattamore D. Osburn, John Denlay, Christine J. Denlay, Michael Dugan, Gary Frerking, Kent Reisdorph
Original AssigneeAristocrat Technologies Australia Pty, Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Systems And Methods For Morphing Casino Chips
US 20080176642 A1
Abstract
Certain embodiments of the present invention provide a casino chip including a morphable surface including an alterable characteristic and a processor. The morphable surface is adapted to change the alterable characteristic. The processor is adapted to control the morphable surface to change the alterable characteristic in response to an input.
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Claims(40)
1. A casino chip including:
a morphable surface including an alterable characteristic, wherein the morphable surface is adapted to change the alterable characteristic; and
a processor adapted to control the morphable surface to change the alterable characteristic in response to an input.
2. The casino chip of claim 1, wherein the input includes one of an external system, a control signal, a player tracking system, a sentry, and a gaming table.
3. The casino chip of claim 1, wherein the morphable surface is a face of the casino chip.
4. The casino chip of claim 1, wherein the morphable surface is adapted to change only when the casino chip is not in the possession of a player.
5. The casino chip of claim 1, wherein the morphable surface is changed based at least in part on an event.
6. The casino chip of claim 1, wherein the morphable surface is changed automatically.
7. The casino chip of claim 1, wherein the alterable characteristic includes the color of the casino chip.
8. The casino chip of claim 1, wherein the morphable surface includes an alterable display.
9. The casino chip of claim 8, wherein the alterable display is adapted to identify a player, wherein the casino chip belongs to the player.
10. The casino chip of claim 9, wherein the player is identified by at least one of a name, at least one initial, a color, a pattern, and a room number.
11. The casino chip of claim 8, wherein the processor is further adapted to change the value displayed on the chip.
12. The casino chip of claim 11, wherein the processor changes the value in the presence of other casino chips.
13. The casino chip of claim 12, wherein the processor changes the value by dividing the value across the casino chip and at least one blank chip.
14. The casino chip of claim 13, wherein the value is divided evenly across the chips.
15. The casino chip of claim 11, wherein the processor changes the value of in response to a bonusing event.
16. The casino chip of claim 8, wherein the alterable display is adapted to display information in a different language.
17. The casino chip of claim 8, wherein the alterable display is adapted to display a value in a different currency.
18. The casino chip of claim 8, wherein the alterable display is adapted to display an advertisement.
19. The casino chip of claim 8, wherein the alterable display is adapted to display a rule for a game being played by a player.
20. The casino chip of claim 8, wherein the alterable display is adapted to display a help message to a player.
21. The casino chip of claim 8, wherein the alterable display is adapted to display a reminder to a player.
22. The casino chip of claim 1, wherein the casino chip is valid only within a casino.
23. The casino chip of claim 1, wherein the casino chip acts as an electronic purse.
24. A method for altering the appearance of a casino chip, the method including:
receiving a control signal at a casino chip;
processing the control signal at a processor in the casino chip; and
controlling a morphable surface of the casino chip to change an alterable characteristic of the morphable surface based at least in part on the control signal.
25. The method of claim 24, wherein the control signal is received at the casino chip.
26. The method of claim 24, wherein the control signal is received at the morphable surface of the casino chip.
27. The method of claim 24, wherein the control signal is from an external system.
28. The method of claim 24, wherein the control signal is from a processor of the casino chip.
29. The method of claim 24, further including detecting the presence of at least one other casino chip.
30. The method of claim 29, wherein the morphable surface is altered to indicate a new value based at least in part on the presence of the at least one other casino chip.
31. The method of claim 30, wherein the new value of the casino chip represents the average of the sum of the values of the casino chip and the values of the at least one other casino chip.
32. The method of claim 31, wherein the value of the at least one other casino chip is altered based on the new value of the casino chip.
33. The method of claim 24, further including displaying a new currency with the morphable surface of the casino chip.
34. The method of claim 24, further including displaying a new language with the morphable surface of the casino chip.
35. A morphable casino chip system, the system including:
a morphable casino chip including a morphable surface and a processor, wherein the processor is adapted to change an alterable characteristic of the morphable surface; and
a trigger providing a stimulus to the casino chip to affect a change in the morphable surface of the chip.
36. The system of claim 35, wherein the trigger is provided by an external system.
37. The system of claim 36, wherein the external system includes a gaming table.
38. The system of claim 36, wherein the external system includes an account.
39. The system of claim 36, wherein the external system includes a sensor.
40. The system of claim 35, wherein the trigger is provided by another casino chip.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to, and claims the benefit of, Provisional Application No. 60/865,287, filed on Nov. 10, 2006, and entitled “Systems and Methods for Morphing Casino Chips.” The foregoing application is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[Not Applicable]

MICROFICHE/COPYRIGHT REFERENCE

[Not Applicable]

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to casino chips. More specifically, the present invention relates to systems and methods for morphing casino chips.

Casinos utilize chips, such as poker-style chips, to represent a player's funds. Casinos may desire to change the appearance of chips for a variety of reasons. For example, casinos may desire to place promotions on chips or change chips periodically to make counterfeiting more difficult. However, in order to change the appearance or update chips, casinos must have new chips manufactured, which is expensive and takes time. A large casino may have several thousands of gaming chips of varying denominations in circulation at any time, including chips held in inventory for lost or unredeemed chips or chips that are worn and are taken out of circulation. New chips would have to be specified and manufactured. This is an added expense to the casino.

Since the gaming chips are fabricated with imprinted symbols, they cannot be altered other than by being replaced. For special events or bonusing, it would be advantageous to be able to easily change the appearance of at least a portion of at least some chips in circulation.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Certain embodiments of the present invention provide a casino chip including a morphable surface including an alterable characteristic and a processor. The morphable surface is adapted to change the alterable characteristic. The processor is adapted to control the morphable surface to change the alterable characteristic in response to an input.

In one embodiment, the chips include at least a portion defined by a display. For example, the face of the chip may have an electronic display on one or both sides. When the display is energized the desired image is displayed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a morphing casino chip according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a morphing casino chip system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 depicts a flow diagram for a method for alerting the appearance of a casino chip according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates an enlarged view of a chip and system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of certain embodiments of the present invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, certain embodiments are shown in the drawings. It should be understood, however, that the present invention is not limited to the arrangements and instrumentality shown in the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a morphing casino chip 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The chip 100 includes at least one morphable surface 110 and a processor 120.

In operation, the chip 100 is adapted to morph. That is, the chip 100 has an alterable characteristic that may be changed. For example, the color, graphic design, value, and/or indicators on the chip 100 may be altered. The alterable characteristic may be changed either remotely or through contact with a controlling device, for example.

The chip 100 may morph at least in part using the morphable surface 110, for example. The morphable surface 110 may include one or more faces and/or sides of the chip 100.

The morphable surface 110 may include and/or be made out of a material that may be altered. The material may be alterable electrically, for example. For example, the morphable surface 110 may be made of a material such as electronic ink (e-ink). As another example, the morphable surface 110 may include a plastic display, light emitting diodes (LEDs), micro-mirrors, and/or a liquid crystal display (LCD).

FIG. 4 illustrates an enlarged view of a chip 100 and system 220 according to an embodiment of the present invention. With reference to the embodiment of FIG. 4, the chip 100 has a display surface 110 which may be defined as a small electronic display such as an LCD, polymer display, or the like. The surface 110 may be on one or both faces of the chip 100, for example. The processor 120 may be powered by induction when it comes in close proximity of a power source or the processor 120 and surface may be powered by a battery 121, for example.

In certain embodiments, the morphable surface 110 is adapted to provide a display to a player. For example, the morphable surface 110 may display an image of the player on the chip 100. As another example, the morphable surface 110 may display advertising text, pictures, and/or video. As another example, the morphable surface 110 may display an image, logo, casino or company name. As another example, the morphable surface 110 may display a color, pattern, room number, identification number, name, initials, and/or custom symbol representing the player. As another example, the morphable surface 110 may indicate the value of the chip 100. As another example, the display may remind a player to play when it is the player's turn in a game, provide help to the player such as a suggest play or move, and/or display rules. For example, a player's chips 100 may flash when it is the player's turn to play while sitting at an electronic gaming table. As another example, the chip 100 may display the rules of the game that the player is standing closest to.

The system 220 may communicate with the chip 100 through a wireless network. For example, it may be desired to change all or some of the chips 100 to, for example, have advertising or other message appear on the surface 110. The system 220 would broadcast the message to the casino floor. The message would be received by a receiver in the chip 100 which transmits the message to the processor 120 to control, the surface 110 to display the desired message.

In addition to or in lieu of wireless transmission, a close proximity or contact device may be used. For example, gaming tables or their chip trays may have devices to communicate with the processor 120 to control the surface 110, for example.

The chip 100 may be adapted to communicate. For example, the chip 100 may be adapted to communicate with a casino system 220 such as an accounting system, a player tracking system, or a chip management system. As another example, the chip 100 may be adapted to communicate with another chip 100. The chip 100 may be adapted to communicate wirelessly, for example. For example, a wireless signal may be transmitted with a particular chip identifier. The processor 120 may receive the signal and compare the chip identifier to an identifier of the chip 100. For example, each chip 100 may have a unique identifier. When the processor 120 detects that the transmitted chip identifier matches the chip identifier of the chip 100, the value of the chip 100 may be changed. For example, a mystery bonus may be transmitted for the chip 100 doubling the value associated with the chip 100. As another example, the morphable surface 110 of the chip 100 may change color and/or may display a different numerical value to represent the new value associated with the chip 100. As another example, the morphable surface 110 may morph to display a different image or graphic, such as a name or logo.

In certain embodiments, the chip 100 morphs when the player receives the chip 100. The chip 100 may morph to indicate the player the chip belongs to, for example. For example, the chip 100 may morph a color, pattern, room number, identification number, name, initials, and/or custom symbol representing the player. As another example, a blank chip may morph to indicate the value of the chip 100 when a player exchanges money for it.

In certain embodiments, the chip 100 remains unaltered after being received by the player. For example, a casino cashier may cause a blank chip 100 to morph to represent a value requested by a player before giving the chip 100 to the player. The chip may then maintain that value while in the possession of the player and be treated like a standard casino chip until returned to the casino, where it may be reset.

In certain embodiments, the morphable surface 110 on the chip 100 may be changed. For example, the representation of a celebrity performing at the casino may be displayed on the chip 100 during the period of the performance and then be replaced by an upcoming act.

In certain embodiments, the chip 100 may be morphed based on an event. For example, the chip 100 may flash and/or change color based on the outcome of a game. As another example, when the player wins a wager the value of the chip may change to reflect the win. In another embodiment, the system 220 may randomly select one or more chips 100 currently in circulation in the casino and broadcast a wireless message to the selected chips whereupon the surfaces 110 of each would flash a color to designate that the player possessing the chip has won a prize.

In certain embodiments, the chip 100 may morph to foil counterfeiters. For example, new designs could be implemented on a periodic basis. The designs may be changed frequently so that counterfeiting becomes difficult. In certain embodiments, the chip 100 morphs randomly to a new design or security feature. In certain embodiments, the chip 100 morphs periodically to a new design. For example, the chip may cycle through a sequence of designs, changing once every 20 minutes.

In certain embodiments, the value of the chip 100 may be changed. A casino may award a mystery bonus, for example. In certain embodiments, the chip 100 may participate in floor-wide bonusing when the chip is at a table. For example, the chip 100 may receive a signal for bonusing from a dealer, table, or external system.

In certain embodiments, the chip 100 is adapted to communicate with other chips 100. For example, chips 100 may communicate using techniques similar to those described above. A stack of chips may communicate to acquire the same characteristics, such as the same currency or language, for example.

In certain embodiments, a player may move funds to or from a chip. The funds may be moved to another chip 100, for example. For example, a player may have a $100 chip and 4 blank chips. The blank chips may be placed near the $100 chip, and then the $100 may be activated to transfer $25 to each of the 4 blank chips. Alternatively, the $100 may be spread event across all 5 chips, $20 each.

In certain embodiments, the transfer from one chip to multiple chips may not be evenly distributed. For example, the $100 may be distributed among the 5 total chips as follows: $50 to one chip, $25 to one chip, $15 to one chip, and $5 to the two remaining chips.

In certain embodiments, the chip 100 may support more than one language. For example, the chip may display rules for a game in both English and Spanish.

In certain embodiments, the chip 100 may support more than one currency. For example, the chip 100 may support values in both Dollars and Yen.

In certain embodiments, the chip 100 may hold value only within a casino. For example, when the chip 100 is detected leaving the casino, the funds may be transferred to the player's account. In certain embodiments, the chip 100 may be disabled when the player leaves the casino. For example, a perimeter sentinel or sentry may detect the chip 100 leaving the casino. The value of the chip 100 may be uploaded to the player's casino account, for example.

In certain embodiments, the chip 100 operates as an electronic purse carrying a value which the player can download/upload during play. At a gaming table, some or all of the value may be downloaded to the game as credits for gaming, for example. As another example, the chip 100 may interact with a player account, bank account, credit card, and/or cash station to transfer funds to and from the chip 100.

FIG. 2 illustrates a morphing casino chip system 200 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The system 200 includes a chip 210 and an external system 220. In certain embodiments, the system 200 may include external systems such as a gaming table 222, an account 224, and/or a sensor 226.

The chip 210 is in communication with the external system 220.

The chip 210 may be similar to the chip 100, described above, for example.

In operation, the chip 210 receives a trigger providing a stimulus. The trigger may be received from the external system 220, for example. The trigger may be a control signal, for example. In response to the stimulus, the chip 210 may morph. That is, the chip 210 may change an alterable characteristic of a morphable surface of the chip 210.

For example, a chip 210 belonging to a player may receive a trigger from an electronic gaming table indicating that it is now the player's turn in the game. The chip 210 may then flash to alert the player that it is the player's turn.

As another example, a chip 210 may receive a signal indicating that money has been transferred from the player's account 224 to the chip 210. The chip 210 may then update its appearance to reflect the added value. The account 224 may be part of an account system or a player tracking system, for example.

As another example, the account 224 may include a profile for the player. The profile may indicate a preferred default bet for the player. The chip 210 may receive a signal from a gaming table 222 indicating that the player has joined the game. The chip 210 may receive a signal from the account 224 indicating the player's default bet for the particular game. The chip 210 may then morph to display the preferred default bet.

As another example, a chip 210 may be allowed to include a value only within a casino. The chip 210 may receive a signal from a sensor 226. The sensor 226 may be a perimeter sentinel or sentry. When the sensor 226 detects that the chip 210 is about to leave the casino, the sensor 226 may signal the chip 210 to transfer its value to an account for the player, such as account 224. The chip 210 may then morph to become a blank chip.

In certain embodiments, the chip 210 may receive a trigger providing a stimulus from another chip 210. For example, a stack of chips 210 may communicate to acquire the same characteristics, such as the same currency or language. The stack of chips 210 may communicate to move funds between the chips 210. The funds may be moved to another chip 210, for example. For example, a player may have a $100 chip and 4 blank chips. The blank chips may be placed near the $100 chip, and then the $100 may be activated to transfer $25 to each of the 4 blank chips. Alternatively, the $100 may be spread event across all 5 chips, $20 each.

FIG. 3 depicts a flow diagram for a method 300 for alerting the appearance of a casino chip according to an embodiment of the present invention. The method 300 includes the following steps, which will be described below in more detail. At step 310, a control signal is received. At step 320, the control signal is processed. At step 330, a morphable surface is controlled to change an alterable characteristic. The method 300 is described with reference to elements of systems described above, but it should be understood that other implementations are possible.

At step 310, a control signal is received. The control signal may be received at a chip similar to the chip 100 and/or the chip 210, described above, for example. The control signal may be received by a processor similar to the processor 120, described above, for example. The control signal may be received by a morphable surface of the chip similar to the morphable surface 110, described above, for example. The signal may be received from an external system, another chip, and/or a processor similar to the processor 120, described above, for example. For example, the external system may be an electronic gaming table similar to the electronic gaming table 222, described above. As another example, the external system may be an account similar to the account 224, described above, for example. As another example, the external system may be a sensor similar to the sensor 226, described above, for example. As another example, a gaming system may query the chip using a control signal to determine the chip's value. As another example, the gaming system may credit winnings from a successful wager to the chip using the control signal. As another example, a casino network may send a mystery bonus to a randomly selected chip using the control signal. As another example, a casino network may provide a new chip design using the control signal.

In certain embodiments, the control signal may include an identifier. The processor may compare the identifier in the control signal with an identifier of the chip. When the identifier in the control signal matches the identifier in the chip, the processor may act on the control signal. When the identifier in the control signal does not match the identifier in the chip, the processor may ignore the control signal.

At step 320, the control signal is processed. The control signal may be the control signal received at step 310, described above, for example. The control signal may be processed by a processor similar to the processor 120, described above, for example. The control signal may be processed to determine the manner in which an alterable characteristic of a morphable surface of a chip should be changed, for example.

At step 330, a morphable surface is controlled to change an alterable characteristic. The alterable characteristic of the morphable surface may be changed based at least in part on the control signal received at step 210, described above, for example. The alterable characteristic of the morphable surface may be changed based at least in part on the processing of the control signal at step 320, described above, for example.

The morphable surface may be similar to the morphable surface 110, described above, for example. The morphable surface may be adapted to change its color, for example. The morphable surface may include and/or be made out of a material that may be altered. The material may be alterable electrically, for example. For example, the morphable surface may be made of a material such as electronic ink (e-ink). As another example, the morphable surface may include a plastic display, light emitting diodes (LEDs), micro-mirrors, and/or a liquid crystal display (LCD).

One or more of the steps of the method 300 may be implemented alone or in combination in hardware, firmware, and/or as a set of instructions in software, for example. Certain embodiments may be provided as a set of instructions residing on a computer-readable medium, such as a memory, hard disk, DVD, or CD, for execution on a general purpose computer or other processing device.

Certain embodiments of the present invention may omit one or more of these steps and/or perform the steps in a different order than the order listed. For example, some steps may not be performed in certain embodiments of the present invention. As a further example, certain steps may be performed in a different temporal order, including simultaneously, than listed above.

Certain embodiments of the present invention may be implemented in software, firmware, and/or hardware, for example. For example, certain embodiments may be implemented as a set of instructions or routines stored on a machine-readable medium, such as a CD, DVD, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, hard disk, floppy disk, RAM, ROM, flash memory, and/or other medium, for execution on a computer and/or other processing device. Certain embodiments may be implemented on a standalone gaming terminal, a bank of gaming terminals, a network of gaming terminals, and/or a client-server system communicating with one or more gaming terminals and/or other devices, for example.

Thus, certain embodiments of the present invention provide systems and methods for morphing casino chips. Certain embodiments are adaptable to an environment, situation, and/or application. Certain embodiments are customizable. Certain embodiments provide a technical effect of a morphing casino chip.

While the invention has been described with reference to certain embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from its scope. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8029357Jan 13, 2006Oct 4, 2011IgtGaming token having a variable value
US8382582 *Sep 26, 2007Feb 26, 2013IgtSystems and methods for portable wagering mediums
US8696444 *Aug 14, 2007Apr 15, 2014IgtGaming token having a variable value
US20100304841 *Sep 26, 2007Dec 2, 2010Sammon Russell PSystems and methods for portable wagering mediums
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/25, 273/288
International ClassificationA44C21/00, A63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2003/00826, A63F2009/245, A44C21/00, A63F2009/2458, A63F3/00697
European ClassificationA63F3/00P, A44C21/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 3, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES AUSTRALIA PTY, LTD, AUSTRA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PHILLIPS, GARETH;OLIVE, SCOTT;OSBURN, LATTAMORE D.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:020752/0581;SIGNING DATES FROM 20071107 TO 20080310