Futuristic glass technology powers transformative gaming machine concept
St Helens glassmaker Pilkington has worked with UK touchscreen and glass processing expert Zytronic to create a futuristic new gaming concept for casinos and bars, which features ‘floating’ components powered invisibly using NSG TEC electrically conductive glass.
Pilkington is part of the Japanese-owned Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG) Group.
The ElectroglaZ gaming concept comprises a single, upright sheet of laminated glass, which wirelessly powers various embedded devices including a 21.5” non-conductive touchscreen LCD monitor for players to interact with, an induction phone charger, a USB port for additional device integration, and a branded programmable LED display.
The coated glass acts as a wire, transferring power through contact alone, creating the effect that devices are freely ‘floating’ within an optically clear panel.
The gaming concept was recently exhibited at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, the largest global casino gaming trade event, where it received significant interest from slot machine product developers.
To create the ElectroglaZ unit, Zytronic laminated together two layers of transparent, electrically conductive NSG TEC glass. Electricity flows into the glass via a hidden connection around its perimeter, through the conductive glass’s lamination, and out to the touchscreen and other devices via apertures and contact points.
Zytronic primarily develops and manufactures highly reliable projected capacitive touch screens for use in self-service and industrial applications. With more than 20 years’ experience, the company also provides highly customised touchscreens used by many of the world’s leading slot machine manufacturers.
Dr Andrew Morrison, technical director at Zytronic, said: “Gaming is among the world’s most rapidly evolving markets, where players and product developers alike are always looking to try out innovative and futuristic new technology. Using wireless power transfer, Zytronic are revolutionising the look and feel of traditional gaming machines to enhance the gaming experience.
“The ElectroglaZ concept unit we’ve created represents just one possible configuration of the technology. Devices such as speakers, sensors, cameras and microphones can be seamlessly incorporated and data transferred by Wi-Fi modules powered via the glass, to create a truly transparent and immersive gaming experience without the visual distraction of ugly power cables.”
Aderlan Vitalino, from NSG Group, said: “Zytronic are taking advantage of the unique properties of NSG TEC to realise futuristic new entertainment concepts. The glass surface is highly durable and easy to wipe clean, making it ideal for high-touch surfaces such as those on gaming machines.
“The technology has enormous potential, and can transfer power to a near endless array of electronic devices. The result is aesthetically exciting, futuristic looking design capabilities with applications across many of Zytronic’s core market sectors. We look forward to seeing the variety of exciting design possibilities and sector applications yet to be envisaged.”
Zytronic also works with Pilkington to process other products including Pilkington Optiwhite for use in its touchscreen products.
NSG Group recently collaborated with product design studio Cohda to help them create other glass applications which deliver power to devices via NSG TEC without the need for wires.
NSG TEC has a wide range of applications in addition to wireless power delivery, including heated glass for commercial refrigeration, touch screens, vehicle displays and instrument panels, digital displays, and digital signage.