Bally Technologies and International Game Technology were the big winners in Casino Journal’s Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products competition, garnering the most votes from the hundreds of attendees who turned out for May’s Gaming Technology Summit at Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas.

PLATINUM AWARD/ATTENDEE CHOICE AWARD

iVIEW Display Manager
- BALLY TECHNOLOGIES


Bally’s iVIEW Display Manager empowers casino operators to deliver content to players at the gaming machine in new ways.

With iVIEW, marketing messages are not limited to just the iVIEW SmartScreen display. This intelligent controller allows casinos to present messages on the main game screen, the top game display, even the overhead display, with picture-in-picture capability. Operators also can present systems content on the displays of most manufacturers’ slots through the iVIEW processor rather than the game processor, which would require separate regulatory approvals and complex development and integration efforts.

What also makes Display Manager such a breakthrough is that it enables game and systems content on the same display - without interrupting play. And it allows operators to choose where on the game they want to present systems content. They are not limited to the player-interface device.

Derik Mooberry, Bally’s vice president of system sales/Western Division, said iVIEW Display Manager offers operators a new avenue to put marketing, bonusing and other media-based events in front of players.

Bally’s recent acquisition of Coolsigns adds even more value, he said. “Coolsigns will also be able to control content in that area as well, so when I put my card in what I see dynamically in terms of what pops in the window on the primary game screen can be configurable by the casino, so you could have two different players playing side by side receiving different content on their windows, based on who they are. That’s very powerful from the casino’s perspective.”

The technology also enables the streaming of video so a customer can play his or her favorite game while watching a sporting event or other programming simultaneously.

Another big reason why Display Window has been so warmly received is that it is “backward compatible,” Mooberry said.

“This gives you the same feature in games [an operator] bought five years ago,” he said, noting that Bally has even added the features to a decade-old game. “So the concept of putting a window on a game doesn’t have to be unique to a brand-new machine.”

Our Top 20 judges gave it rave reviews, one calling it a “home run”.

“I would recommend the product,” said another. “It builds on the iVIEW and takes it to the next level.”

Gaming Technology Summit’s attendees agreed and gave it a decisive thumbs-up, awarding iVIEW Display Manager the show’s very first “Attendee Choice” award.





GOLD AWARD

AVP Dynamic Game Menu
- INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY


IGT’s AVP Dynamic Game Menu offers flexibility and the ability to switch from traditional three-, four- and five-reel slots to video slots or even video poker - all on one machine - with a touch of a button.

This patented combination of AVP and MLD technology with IGT’s REELdepth 3-D games allows operators to install independent game packages of their choice to the AVP machine and have those games available for selection by the player via the AVP game menu. This feature, in conjunction with digital glass and dynamic buttons, significantly speeds conversions. More important, it lets operators retain the game software investment on the previous game as both the existing game and the new game are available for play.

Our judges found AVP Dynamic Game Menu very appealing as the industry moves in the direction of a server-based world.

“Combine this with remote-configuration management and you have an extremely powerful tool for floor yield management,” said one.

“This product moves us closer to a server-based gaming environment where operators are given greater flexibility in the slot product they offer,” said another. “And, most important, players can easily change the game at the machine.”





SILVER AWARD

REELdepth
- INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY


IGT’s REELdepth provides a three-dimensional spinning-reel effect using an advanced technology known as Multi-Layer Display. It provides ultimate flexibility to the operator, enabling game changes without the need to replace physical glass and reel strips.

Accomplished by a layering of two liquid crystal displays, the visual effect of depth perception is created without wearing 3-D glasses. Multi-Layer Display technology, pioneered by PureDepth, generates the look and feel of a true spinning-reel game - without the need for mechanical reels.

“We’ve really just scratched the surface of what we see the potential of that technology to do,” said Brenda Boudreaux, vice president of product placement for IGT.

The Dynamic Game Menu and MLD technology “really go hand in hand,” she said, the goal being to allow operators to offer new experiences to players who enjoy playing traditional slots.

“We saw the opportunity to really be able to provide the players the feel of the traditional slot machine,” she said. “The game menu in itself, that really provides the operator with something they have never had in the past to offer the traditional slot player. From the player perspective, it’s really exciting. They can sit down and play their favorite Double Diamond three-reel game, and then they can go to a five-reel version and never have to leave their seat.”

The combination gives operators new opportunities to make the most of their floors.

“We’re seeing some great performance,” Boudreaux said. “It gives a lot of assurance to operators that they’re making a good investment.”

And there is much more to come, she says, as game developers explore new ways to use the technology to deliver different features and ways to wager.

“There’s a lot of excitement in the game studios about using the current technology and taking that technology to the next level,” she said. “From a game standpoint, they’re just getting started. The things that the game studio teams are coming up with are pretty compelling and will really add a lot to the technology and that box.”

Our judges certainly were impressed, calling REELdepth “a cool visual game that should attract play” and a product that “provides nice game-change flexibility to the operator.”

Another judge hailed it “because it uses technology to improve reel games but also reduces maintenance while improving quality.”

“Best product I’ve seen to capitalize on the ability to change games based on player preference and other marketing conditions,” said another. “Looks gorgeous.”