US20060189383A1 - Gaming machine system and method with buttons equipped with modulating lights - Google Patents

Gaming machine system and method with buttons equipped with modulating lights Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060189383A1
US20060189383A1 US11/356,714 US35671406A US2006189383A1 US 20060189383 A1 US20060189383 A1 US 20060189383A1 US 35671406 A US35671406 A US 35671406A US 2006189383 A1 US2006189383 A1 US 2006189383A1
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Prior art keywords
gaming machine
lights
intensity
modulation
method
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/356,714
Inventor
John Bird
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Stragent LLC
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Stragent LLC
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US65464705P priority Critical
Application filed by Stragent LLC filed Critical Stragent LLC
Priority to US11/356,714 priority patent/US20060189383A1/en
Priority claimed from US11/373,851 external-priority patent/US20060189391A1/en
Assigned to STRAGENT, LLC reassignment STRAGENT, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BIRD, JOHN M.
Publication of US20060189383A1 publication Critical patent/US20060189383A1/en
Assigned to STRAGENT, LLC reassignment STRAGENT, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: STRAGENT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3204Player-machine interfaces
    • G07F17/3211Display means

Abstract

A gaming machine system is provided including a gaming machine and a plurality of mechanical buttons coupled to the gaming machine capable of being depressed by a user. Also included is a plurality of lights each associated with at least one of the buttons. Further, at least one aspect of the lights is modulated.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION(S)
  • The present application claims priority from a provisional application filed Feb. 18, 2005 under App. Ser. No.: 60/654,647, which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND AND FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to gaming machines and, more particularly, gaming machine button panels.
  • Prior art FIG. 1 illustrates a slot gaming machine 100, in accordance with the prior art. As shown, the gaming machine 100 includes a conventional reel-type slot gaming machine 100. It includes an exterior housing 132 and a front face including a gaming machine main display 116, and a belly glass 130.
  • The main display 116 includes windows 114 each of which displays a single reel assembly of the gaming machine 100. Horizontal pay lines 118 span the windows 114 and allow for a single winning combination. Typically, the main display 116 includes a cathode ray tube (CRT), liquid crystal display (LCD), etc., with a touch screen layer positioned over the main display 116 which may be used to allow user input in lieu of mechanical control.
  • For mechanical control, player buttons 110, 112, and 124 are provided between the belly glass 130 and main display 116, and allow the player to control operation of the gaming machine 100 in combination with/or in lieu of the associated touch screen. In addition, a lever 104 may be included on one side of the exterior housing 132 to allow a player alternative mechanical control of the gaming machine 100. A coin acceptor 106 and a bill acceptor 108 are provided near the play buttons as shown. Finally, a coin tray 126 is provided near the bottom of the gaming machine 100 to collect coin pay outs from winning plays. Other options may include speakers 102, etc. to enhance play.
  • In the past, player buttons 110, 112, and 124 have traditionally been limited to emitting a single light color at a single intensity. At best, such light may be turned on (with the single light color and single intensity) upon depression thereof, as shown in FIG. 1. This has provided very simplistic and mundane viewing and use of gaming machines.
  • There is thus a need for overcoming these and/or other problems associated with the prior art.
  • SUMMARY
  • A gaming machine system is provided including a gaming machine and a plurality of mechanical buttons coupled to the gaming machine capable of being depressed by a user. Also included is a plurality of lights each associated with at least one of the buttons. Further, at least one aspect of the lights is modulated.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Prior art FIG. 1 illustrates a gaming machine, in accordance with the prior art.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a gaming machine, in accordance with one embodiment.
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2, showing the player buttons and associated lights, in accordance with one embodiment.
  • FIG. 4 is a graph showing the continuous variation in light intensity over time with respect to a light of each player button, in accordance with another embodiment.
  • FIG. 5 is a graph showing the continuous variation of light color over time with respect to a light of each player button, in accordance with yet another embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a gaming machine 200, in accordance with one embodiment. As shown, the gaming machine 200 includes a conventional reel-type slot gaming machine 200. It includes an exterior housing 232 and a front face including a gaming machine main display 216, and a belly glass 230.
  • Similar to the gaming machine 100 of FIG. 1, the gaming machine 200 includes a conventional reel-type slot gaming machine 200. It should be noted, however, that the gaming machine 200 may take the form of absolutely any game of chance. Thus, gaming machine, in the context of the present description, may refer to slot machines, automatic roulettes, blackjack, and/or any type of game of chance.
  • Thus, the present reel-type slot gaming machine embodiment is set forth for illustrative purposes only and should not be construed as limiting in any manner. To this end, any (or none) of the features of the present reel-type slot gaming machine embodiment may be incorporated into the gaming machine, and still fall within the scope of the claims.
  • As shown, the gaming machine main display 216 includes windows 214 each of which displays a single reel assembly of the slot gaming machine 200. Horizontal pay lines 218 span the windows and allow for a single winning combination. The main display 216 includes a cathode ray tube (CRT), liquid crystal display (LCD), etc., with an optional touch screen layer positioned over the display which may be used to allow user input in lieu of and/or in combination with mechanical control.
  • For mechanical control, player buttons 210, 212, and 224 are provided between the belly glass 230 and main display 216 and allow the player to control operation of the gaming machine 200. In addition, a lever 204 may be included on one side of the exterior housing 232 to allow a player alternative control of the gaming machine 200. A coin acceptor 206 and a bill acceptor 208 are further provided near the play buttons, as shown. Finally, a coin tray 226 is provided near the bottom of slot gaming machine 200 to collect coin pay outs from winning plays. Other options may include speakers 202, etc. to enhance play.
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2, showing the player buttons 210, 212, and 224 and associated lights 306, in accordance with one embodiment. Again, the present buttons 210, 212, and 224 and associated lights 306 may be implemented in the context of the gaming machine 200 of FIG. 2 or, in other embodiments, implemented in any desired context.
  • As shown, the player buttons 210, 212, and 224 each include a light 306 capable of emitting light. In one embodiment, the light may include a light emitting diode (LED), LED-alternatives such an electroluminescent light, incandescent light, etc. and/or any other type of light capable of emitting light. It should further be noted that the lights 306 may take the form of single-colored, multiple-colored, and/or colorless lights 306. Still yet, the player buttons 210, 212, and 224 may each include multiple lights. Thus, the use of a single light associated with each player button, in the manner shown in FIG. 3, should not be construed as limiting in any way.
  • With continuing reference to FIG. 3, the player buttons 210, 212, and 224 (and the associated lights 306) are shown to be coupled to a controller 304 (i.e. a computer, microprocessor, integrated circuit, circuit board, button board, analog or digital circuitry, and/or any desired type of logic or the like) for controlling the lights 306 such that at least one aspect of the lights 306 is modulated.
  • In the context of the present description, the at least one aspect of the lights 306 that is modulated may include intensity, color, and/or any other aspect capable of being modulated. Further, such modulation, in the present description, may refer to any modulating, changing, altering, varying, adjusting, etc. of the at least one aspect.
  • Optionally, the light intensity may be controlled by way of pulse-width modulation techniques, which are capable of controlling the brightness of LED's. Further, in another embodiment, analog to digital (A/D) converter technology may be utilized in the present context. Of course any technique may be used that is capable of controlling the intensity, brightness, color, or any other aspect of the light.
  • To this end, more attractive and functionally superior player buttons 210, 212, and 224 (and associated lights 306) are provided. More information on optional features associated with the aforementioned lights 306 will now be set forth. Such additional details are set forth for illustrative purposes only, and should not be construed as limiting in any manner.
  • FIG. 4 is a graph showing the continuous variation in light intensity over time with respect to a light (e.g. light 306 of FIG. 3, etc.) of each player button (e.g. player button 210, 212, 224 of FIG. 3, etc.), in accordance with another embodiment. The light associated with each player button is capable of varying in intensity 402 as time 404 progresses. As shown, the light intensity may change at a constant rate, such that the change in intensity is gradual. Of course, the light intensity may change at any rate, or may not even change at all.
  • Further, the intensity 402 of the light is capable of changing by increasing to a maximum intensity 406 and then decreasing to a minimum intensity 408 in a continuous, cyclical (i.e. sinusoidal, etc.) manner. Still yet, the intensity of the light associated with each player button may change individually or collectively with the other player buttons.
  • For example, the intensity variations may be random and uncoordinated for each player button. In the alternative, such intensity variations may be synchronized so that the intensity of each player bottom top and bottom out at the same time. The intensity variations may even be a predetermined amount out-of-phase, in order to provide a “rippling” effect among the player buttons. Just by way of example, the intensities may be 60 degrees out-of-phase among three player buttons, in order to maximize this effect.
  • These options allow for a continuous pattern of change in light intensity that is attractive to prospective players of the gaming machine. More information on optional techniques of color modulation will now be set forth. Such additional details may or may not be used in conjunction with the foregoing intensity modulation. Further, it should be noted the foregoing intensity-related features may be applied in the context of color. In a similar manner, the following color-related features may used to modulate intensity in the manner described.
  • FIG. 5 is a graph showing the continuous variation of light color over time with respect to a light (e.g. light 306 of FIG. 3, etc.) of each player button (e.g. player button 210, 212, 224 of FIG. 3, etc.), in accordance with yet another embodiment. As shown, the light associated with each player button is capable of changing color as time progresses.
  • In particular, in one embodiment, the light associated with each player button may change from red 504 to blue 506 to green 508 as time progresses, in a continuous manner. As shown in FIG. 5, each of three player buttons may show a different color (i.e. red, green, blue) at each instant in time. Further, the change from each color to the next may either be abrupt (i.e. instantly), or gradual (i.e. in a sinusoidal, etc.).
  • Of course, it should be understood that any pattern of color change, or even no color change may be used with respect to each of the player buttons.
  • As an option, the color and intensity variations may be either independently or dependently modulated. For example, any color changes (i.e. from one color to the next, etc.) may occur when the intensity of the associated button is at a lowest level.
  • As yet another option, the foregoing color and/or intensity modulation may operate in a first mode when the corresponding gaming machine is not in use. In such first mode, any of the foregoing modulations may occur in an automatic manner to attract play.
  • The color and/or intensity modulation may also operate in a second mode, during play of the gaming machine by a user. In the second mode, the color and/or intensity modulation may vary as a function of player input and any win accomplished on the gaming machine, in order to maintain play. For example, upon depression of one of the player buttons, such button may peak in intensity and/or change color, and/or may even deviate from coordination with respect to the remaining player buttons. Further, there may be a special third mode, whereby the lights modulate in a specific manner to indicate a win.
  • While various embodiments have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example only, and not limitation. Thus, the breadth and scope of a preferred embodiment should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.

Claims (17)

1. A gaming machine system, comprising:
a gaming machine;
a plurality of mechanical buttons coupled to the gaming machine and capable of being depressed by a user; and
a plurality of lights each associated with at least one of the buttons;
wherein at least one aspect of the lights is modulated.
2. The gaming machine system of claim 1, wherein the aspect includes color.
3. The gaming machine system of claim 1, wherein the aspect includes intensity.
4. The gaming machine system of claim 1, wherein the aspect includes brightness.
5. The gaming machine system of claim 1, wherein the modulation includes pulse-width modulation.
6. A computer program product embodied on a computer readable medium, comprising:
computer code for modulating at least one aspect of a plurality of lights each associated with at least one of a plurality of buttons coupled to a gaming machine and capable of being depressed by a user.
7. The computer program product of claim 6, wherein the aspect includes color.
8. The computer program product of claim 6, wherein the aspect includes intensity.
9. The computer program product of claim 6, wherein the aspect includes brightness.
10. The computer program product of claim 6, wherein the modulation includes pulse-width modulation.
11. The computer program product of claim 6, wherein the modulation includes at least one of continuous and cyclical modulation.
12. A method, comprising:
modulating at least one aspect of a plurality of lights each associated with at least one of a plurality of buttons coupled to a gaming machine and capable of being depressed by a user.
13. The method of claim 14, wherein the aspect includes color.
14. The method of claim 14, wherein the aspect includes intensity.
15. The method of claim 14, wherein the aspect includes brightness.
16. The method of claim 14, wherein the modulation includes pulse-width modulation.
17. The method of claim 14, wherein the modulation includes at least one of continuous and cyclical modulation.
US11/356,714 2005-02-18 2006-02-16 Gaming machine system and method with buttons equipped with modulating lights Abandoned US20060189383A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US65464705P true 2005-02-18 2005-02-18
US11/356,714 US20060189383A1 (en) 2005-02-18 2006-02-16 Gaming machine system and method with buttons equipped with modulating lights

Applications Claiming Priority (11)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/356,714 US20060189383A1 (en) 2005-02-18 2006-02-16 Gaming machine system and method with buttons equipped with modulating lights
US11/373,851 US20060189391A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2006-03-10 Gaming machine system and method
US11/780,338 US20080032802A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2007-07-19 Gaming system and method for providing interaction between a user and one other party
US11/780,333 US20080015019A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2007-07-19 Gaming system and method in which a server is in communication with a central repository of a game application
US11/780,356 US20080015029A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2007-07-19 Gaming system in which a central repository of a game application is in communication with a gaming client via a network
US11/780,286 US20080015016A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2007-07-19 Combined biometric/smart-device identification system and method for a gaming environment
US11/780,272 US20080015026A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2007-07-19 Daisy-chain/tapped network system and method for a gaming environment
US11/780,199 US20080015010A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2007-07-19 Camera-equipped networked gaming machine system and method for two-way communication
US11/780,237 US20080026849A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2007-07-19 System and method for allowing intercommunication among distributed users in a gaming environment
US11/780,298 US20080045345A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2007-07-19 Gaming machine candle system and method
US11/780,309 US20080015027A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2007-07-19 Centralized game board system and method for enhanced network-enabled features in a gaming environment

Related Child Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11/373,851 Continuation-In-Part US20060189391A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2006-03-10 Gaming machine system and method
US11/780,199 Continuation-In-Part US20080015010A1 (en) 2005-01-31 2007-07-19 Camera-equipped networked gaming machine system and method for two-way communication

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US20060189383A1 true US20060189383A1 (en) 2006-08-24

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US11/356,714 Abandoned US20060189383A1 (en) 2005-02-18 2006-02-16 Gaming machine system and method with buttons equipped with modulating lights

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20070072683A1 (en) * 2005-09-12 2007-03-29 Seelig Jerald C Gaming device button
US20090131170A1 (en) * 2007-11-16 2009-05-21 Raymond Yow Control button configuration for guitar-shaped video game controllers
US8663010B2 (en) 2005-02-28 2014-03-04 Wms Gaming Inc. Remote game processing

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US5855515A (en) * 1996-02-13 1999-01-05 International Game Technology Progressive gaming system
US6244958B1 (en) * 1996-06-25 2001-06-12 Acres Gaming Incorporated Method for providing incentive to play gaming devices connected by a network to a host computer
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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8663010B2 (en) 2005-02-28 2014-03-04 Wms Gaming Inc. Remote game processing
US20070072683A1 (en) * 2005-09-12 2007-03-29 Seelig Jerald C Gaming device button
US20090131170A1 (en) * 2007-11-16 2009-05-21 Raymond Yow Control button configuration for guitar-shaped video game controllers

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AS Assignment

Owner name: STRAGENT, LLC, CALIFORNIA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BIRD, JOHN M.;REEL/FRAME:017577/0689

Effective date: 20060410

AS Assignment

Owner name: STRAGENT, LLC, TEXAS

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:STRAGENT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC;REEL/FRAME:022206/0975

Effective date: 20081231