In This Edition
- New Products & New Technologies
- Technical & Operations Tips – Ask Frank ‘the Crank’ Seninsky
- Breaking News
- Online Connectivity Connects at IAAPA
- The Younger Audience is a Major Focus as ‘Kid-Tainment’ Explodes’
- Knock It Off Rotary Continues to be #3 Ranked Game in the Industry
- Introducing ‘Tickets! Tickets! Tickets!’ the New Ticket Crane Designed by Frank ‘the Crank’
- Foundations Entertainment University Just Announces 2016 Schedule
- Top Redemption & Merchandising Games and Test Games Spreadsheet Report
- Introduction to Top 60 Games Combined List
- Hottest Games the AEM/Alpha Team Gave a Thumbs Up at IAAPA
- New Games at IAAPA that the AEM/Alpha Team Approved for Testing
- Top 60 Redemption and Merchandise Dispensing Games Combined – Now 4 Test Locations
- Test Games Spreadsheet Report – The Revenue Results are Incredible!
- Introduction to Top 60 Games Combined List
- Top Redemption & Merchandising Prizes
- Ranking of 18 MERCHANDISERS at Test Location #1 & Prizes in Each
- Prizes Used by Alpha-Omega Amusements in Merchandisers December 2015
- What’s Hot – Showcase and Crane Ideas – Rhode Island Novelty – HMS Monaco – Sureshot Redemption
- Industry Events
New Products & New Technologies
New products and technologies can have life-changing effects on us and more importantly, on our customer base. I am on the lookout for first the new technologies and then the products that can be developed that can provide opportunities for our industry to offer them to improve the guest experience.
Last month I came across a very short story that involved four engineers. I wanted to share it with you because I thought it applies to how different people react to different technologies:
Four engineers get into a car.
The car won’t start.
The mechanical engineer says:
“It must be a broken starter.”
The electrical engineer says:
“No, it’s a dead battery.”
The chemical engineer says:
“No way! Impurities in the gasoline.”
The IT engineer says:
“Hey guys. I have an idea.
How about we all get out of the car
and get back in again?” 😀
Here’s the Ticket!
This is the coolest both new technology and new product (waterproof too) that is going to change the way people enjoy their out of home experiences, first outdoor, and then I predict out-of-home indoor as the technology gets refined. Rather than try to explain in words what the Lily Camera is, click on the link and experience it for yourself:
💡 What this could mean? Selfies have dominated the experience landscape for the past several years. I first saw the selfie sticks in Dubai before they became popular in the U.S. Recently these sticks have been banned in some amusement parks and family entertainment centers for safety reasons because people were taking them on rides and attractions where these sticks can fall from great heights or be innocently poked into other participants.
As an aside, my son, David, decided to take hundreds of selfies during his recent trip to Italy with his wife, Erica. He made a selfie book. He did it as a spoof, but his selfie book is quite interesting as well as funny, as he got quite good at making sure that all backgrounds (buildings, signs, scenery, other people) were perfectly framed in the selfie. The only problem was that he only had three facial expressions and they played over and over: big phony grin, mouth open in surprise, and a sad look. Erica, however, always seemed to have a different facial expression that closely portrayed the experience.
Now we get back to the Lily camera. This could easily replace the selfie as this waterproof drone with camera can follow you in just about any situation. Currently I believe the batteries last for 20 minutes, but that will soon by 1 hour. Lily is just like having your own private James Bond photographer following you around to record your experience.
I know for sure that I want one, and want it now! However, I want the indoor/outdoor model. I wonder if our industry will be on the liberal side in this instance, and permit hundreds of Lily’s to fly around in our bowling centers, FECs, amusement parks as long as the technology keeps them from crashing into each other or getting near the attractions. Perhaps they can go into ‘hover mode’ and be able to help our guests interact with the games and attractions, and give pointers just like Siri on my i-phone currently does.
First reported by Vending Times
Here’s the Ticket!
HERZLIYA, Israel –The ‘Bird’ is small finger-size user interface (shown in the picture to the right) that was recently invented by MUV Interactive. This small device could have many simple and inexpensive applications in our leisure out-of-home-entertainment industry. MUV’s Bird is worn on the index finger, or any finger and ‘transforms any surface into a multi-touch interface with 3D interactive capabilities.”
According to the developer, “Bird is the first device to integrate the full spectrum of interactivity — which comprises touch (and remote touch), gesture control, voice command, mouse functionality and hover — into a single wearable controller. Users can interact with a full range of media, including projected images, at distances ranging from contact to 100 feet. As many as 10 users can interact with the same content simultaneously.”
Introduced in mid-October, “The MUV Bird is being compared by the technology press to Tom Cruise’s computer interface portrayed in the 2002 science fiction film “Minority Report.” Its small plastic shell is packed with sensors; it works over a wireless link to a small unit that connects to the projector or other primary content device.”
“Bird redefines the way people interact with digital media,” said MUV Interactive chief executive Rami Parham. “Our team has put together a miracle of engineering that not only supports today’s applications, but pushes the envelope of what is possible in future ones.”
The company is exploring corporate, home and educational applications, but demonstrations have included control of a computer game.
💡 What this could mean? What is the amusement industry waiting for? This is like ‘Opportunity pointing a finger in our direction’ and jestering us to come here instead of just knocking at the door. Hey, truth is Opportunity is sick and tired of knocking on the amusement industry’s door, as nobody ever answers even though Opportunity thinks that somebody is home. I am thankful that Frank, Ed, and Ken from TeamPlay answered the door a few years ago and our industry got Fishbowl Frenzy. The good news is today a few companies are leaving door unlocked and slightly opened and leaving cookies and milk (not for Santa Claus but for Opportunity) on the kitchen table. 😀
WOW! The Bird is great for both video games and videmption and possibly even merchandise dispensing games that also incorporate video. [We will soon need to create a catchy name for the cranes with video category. How about ‘vicrane’ or ‘vimerch’ or just plain ‘video-crane’???].
If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry—this is a new way to do just that!!!
SCIENCE FICTION NO MORE! MUV’s Bird technology allows
users to manipulate displayed data at distances up to 100 feet.
It recognizes a full range of motion and responds to movements
less than 1mm in extent.
Here’s the Ticket!
The Amusement & FEC industry, just like the public in general, uses locks and padlocks to protect our valuables (premises, gates, cash, bill changers, games, tokens, tickets, debit cards, kiosks, prizes, cabinets, doors…). Recently, this ‘how to’ video was posted on YouTube’s “Lock Channel” and teachers viewers how to open one of the most popular padlocks on the market in less than a minute.
This tutorial, titled ‘Rappin’ on MasterLock,’ was posted by an anonymous individual with the handle Bosnianbill. The video has already been viewed by more than 2 million views. If this video is real, it shows that it takes just a few well-placed taps with a hammer to open a MasterLock padlock in a few seconds. What impressed me the most, as Bosnianbill states in the comment section, the padlock is not damaged at all and continues to operate exactly the same as if it was opened with the correct key.
💡 What this could mean? This video clip should be a wake-up call for everyone. It shows that our padlocks are not nearly as protective as we have been led to believe. Perhaps this is an opportunity for our lock suppliers to come up with some new products. But you know me very well by now. I will first try this myself (as you all should), just to make sure that it can be done that easily.
Another way to look at this video, is it could help any one of us to save lives if confronted with a padlock that needs to be opened and we do not have the key, but we also do not have a hacksaw or a bolt cutter, or a gun (like they shoot open locks in the movies all the time).
And now for a 3rd reason. It gives me an opportunity to go out and have a bagel with lox. 😀
(Paul Sawinski, Alpha-Omega Amusements Regional Manager)
- Problem. Each of the 6 buttons progressively lose their functionality and players find it increasing more difficult to play the game.
- Cause of Problem. I discovered that the original washers on the inside of each button are too thin and bend under normal player pressure.
- Effect. The plastic behind the washer cracks.
- Reality. A whole button assembly costs $218 each and there are 6 of them! Replacing the button assembly is not a real option. A solution must be found and pronto.
- Solution. Replace each of the washers with thicker/stronger ones of the same size as soon as you read this. Note that this is a
temporary solution and not the final solution. The button assemblies are currently in poor shape because I did not discover the problem soon enough. In the future I will pay more attention when players complain and I can’t find anything wrong. 9.5 times out of 10 they are telling me the truth and not trying to pull a fast one.