Groundbreaking gameplay with IGT & Ultrahaptics
In November 2017 the SPHINX 4D™ game on the CrystalCurveTM TRUE 4DTM cabinet from IGT was deployed at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, Florida – the first casino in the U.S. to launch the ground-breaking haptic gaming experience. In it, mid-air haptics was combined with glasses-free TRUE 3D™ and gesture recognition technologies to empower players to experience casino entertainment in completely new ways.
The search for pioneering player experiences
With over 12,000 employees, and customers in more than 100 countries, IGT is the world’s leading end-to-end gaming company. The company has a deep history of creating ground-breaking player experiences using pioneering technologies.
One of IGT’s many noteworthy product introductions came in 2013 with the launch of its TRUE 3D™ product line – a slot experience that brought glasses-free TRUE 3D™ gaming to the casino floor in its award-winning AXXIS™ 3D video slot machines. Initially envisaged as a niche product, today there are over 3,000 TRUE 3D units in operation worldwide.
Design and development – creating a proof of concept
IGT’s R&D team and Ultrahaptics designed two possible scenarios integrating mid-air haptics with an IGT slot machine, and installed four demo units to present to IGT’s internal decision-makers. The demos proved that IGT’s existing TRUE 3D cabinets could be integrated with gesture recognition and Ultrahaptics’ technology to realize irresistible glasses-free TRUE 3D™ visuals that players can touch and interact with.
IGT’s TRUE 4D™ haptic video slot machines immerse players in the game like never before. Players can trace a sparkling butterfly shape in mid-air, feel the sparkles tingling their fingertips and then watch the butterfly come to life and fly away – just one of many gesture-controlled “secrets” within the game.
Once the project was greenlit, Ultrahaptics and IGT meticulously refined the technology integration. To achieve truly immersive gameplay, the glasses-free TRUE 3D™ graphics, haptic feedback, gesture recognition and content all needed to be seamlessly integrated.
Ultrahaptics’ ultrasonic transducer array was also adapted to ensure it was optimized for a casino environment, and the technology was customized to integrate it into IGT’s CrystalCurve™ TRUE 4D™ hardware and software platform.
The exciting moment when Ultrahaptics received the full cabinet hardware for final gameplay testing.
IGT’s Sphinx 4D game on the CrystalCurve TRUE 4D™ cabinet was first unveiled at the 2016 Global Gaming Expo (G2E). At G2E 2017, IGT unveiled additional TRUE 4D games, including globally celebrated licensed themes.
“The SPHINX 4D game delivers an unprecedented gameplay experience combining the TRUE 3D visual experience with, gesture-based and mid-air haptic technologies”
– Renato Ascoli, IGT CEO North America, Gaming and Interactive
In November 2017, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa became the first casino in the US to have the SPHINX 4D™ game on its casino floor. IGT is now actively introducing the TRUE 4D™ gaming experience in markets around the world.
Awards and reactions
SPHINX TRUE 4D™ won the Global Gaming Award’s “Land-based Gaming Innovation of the Year” award in 2017 and widespread industry acclaim.
“One of the stand-out exhibitors for 2017 is International Game Technology, better known as IGT, who have three ‘4D’ games on display among their innovations.”
“Our guests will truly be amazed at all of the features that are offered on these machines.”
– Dan Ingster, Vice President of Slots at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa.
“…you can actually be part of the game.”
– Charles Degliomini, Executive VP of Empire Resorts, Inc.
IGT’s collaboration with Ultrahaptics resulted in a unique multi-sensory experience that was not only new in casinos, but leveraged technology that is not yet commercialized in the consumer electronics space. The positive reception demonstrated the power of industry leaders, such as IGT, incorporating haptics into their products.
“This ground-breaking cabinet [CrystalCurve TRUE 4D™] demonstrates IGT’s commitment to delivering compelling and memorable experiences that surprise and delight a broad range of casino players and drive growth and excitement on our customers’ floors.”
– Dallas Orchard, Chief Product Officer, IGT
At Ultrahaptics we create tactile sensations in mid-air. No controllers or wearables are needed: our patented “virtual touch” technology uses ultrasound to project shapes and textures directly onto the user’s hands. Controls can be operated without touching a surface, gestures can be enhanced with tactile feedback, and users can interact in a natural way with virtual objects.
Ultrahaptics was founded in 2013 based on technology developed at the University of Bristol, UK. Since then, the company has raised $40m funding from investors worldwide.
Ultrahaptics is currently engaged with blue-chip clients from multiple markets including automotive, digital signage and location-based entertainment. We also support the international academic community through a program designed to accelerate haptics research and development.
To contact Ultrahaptics click here.