ANTVibes Audible Product TagsTM Bring Voice Dimension to Mobile Marketing & Advertising Campaigns

ANTVibes Inc., a Waterloo, Ontario ICT Company, announced today the release of their mobile marketing innovation, the Audible Product Tag (APTTM). Audible Product Tags are an extension of ANTVibes’ patent-pending technology designed to capture and deliver voice messages in an Audible Tag and shared through dedicated landing pages.

Audible Product Tags tap into the power of the human voice, adding a new dimension to point of purchase and mobile marketing campaigns. Using a standard smart phone, customers can access product information, celebrity endorsements, reviews and other supplementary product-related information on products. Audible Product Tags can be shared as web links or through 1D or 2D barcodes at the point of purchase and with image recognition technologies planned for the future.

“Audible Product Tags can provide a fresh new dimension to mobile marketing campaigns. We believe voice information has advantages over video or text heavy websites in mobile applications,” said Vigen Nazarian, CEO of ANTVibes. “Because Audible Product Tags have a very small file size the information becomes highly accessible. Consumers can quickly download product information, listen to the voice message while standing in a store aisle and in less than 40 seconds make their purchasing decisions. We believe Audible Product Tags can help inform and engage consumers, drive buying behavior and allow brands create more engaging and memorable connections with their customers”.

ANTVibes also announced today its first deployment of Audible Product Tags for a marketing campaign. “We are thrilled to welcome Versado Wines (www.versadowine.com), as our first partner for Audible Product Tags, and celebrate the launch of their use of the technology for sharing the voice of their vineyard (http://hear.vc/grz1hz) in Argentina,” said Mr. Nazarian. “APTs are ideal for the wine industry, and we plan to use these audio clips to share our journey as winemakers — providing an emotional connection between consumers and our celebrated vineyard and wines,” said Elena Galey-Pride of Winestains Communications, Versado’s Ontario-based marketing consultant. “We are very pleased to adopt Audible Product Tags and its user friendly content management system.” ANTVibes is currently in discussions with several other leading brands and retail distributors to showcase the effectiveness of the Audible Product Tags.

“Many companies use text and video information to engage consumers which works well on desktop and tablet devices, however, they are not ideal for smartphones and definitely not at the point of sale”, said Mr. Jay Klesitz, CTO of ANTVibes.

According to Gartner Inc., worldwide mobile advertising revenue is forecast to reach $24.5 billion in 2016. “We have many exciting partnerships planned and are positioned to be the go-to company for the use of voice information in this space,” said Sam Visaisouk, COO of ANTVibes. For the 86 million aging baby boomers APTs open a new avenue to access information and we believe Audible Tag technology will be the next driver in agile mobile marketing strategies.”

About ANTVibes

ANTVibes™ Inc. is the provider of Audible Tags, a patent-pending voice capture and delivery platform which can be used for personal and product branding. Audible Tags are offered as a SaaS subscription service with a turnkey content management system that is ideal for use in mobile marketing and advertising.

For additional information, please visit www.antvibes.com

Media Contact
Vigen Nazarian, CEO
T. 416-722-4508
E. vigen@antvibes.com

Encircle featured in The Record.com

Home inventory goes digital in a new app

It started out as typical day for Carolyn Nolan and her family. She was out for the day with her five-year-old son. Her husband was busy in the backyard. The dishwasher was running in the kitchen.

But that day in 2011 ended with everything turned upside down after the dishwasher started a fire in the kitchen. No one was injured, but watching a restoration company pull all of your possessions out of your home is “very humbling,” Nolan says.

In the months that followed, the possession they missed the most was the simplest – their filing cabinet. They kept receipts of product purchases and product information in their filing cabinet, and having that information would have made the insurance claims process so much easier.

“But we didn’t have that filing cabinet for months,” Nolan says. “So you are Googling every piece of equipment in your home and show that this is what you had. It is a very long process. If I could have had one source of information from the get-go, it would have been so much easier.”

Now there is a free app called Encircle, developed by former BlackBerry executive Paul Donald that helps people compile and maintain an up-to-date digital home inventory, along with providing a library of product information.

Nolan, who met Donald in her role as the director of operations at the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo, thought Encircle was a terrific idea, given her own experience with a fire. “Really, you have no concept of how important a home inventory is, until this happens to you,” she says.

But the app isn’t just useful for fire insurance, says Donald, who founded Encircle last year. There are many reasons a person might need proof of their possessions, ranging from theft to divorce. The product information library could be useful for plenty of reasons, from finding repair people or parts for a product to being able to download printer driver software.

Encircle is currently available as a free smartphone and tablet app in Apple’s Mac App Store and the Google Play store, or you can create your inventory on Encircle’s website, encircleapp.com.

Donald had been thinking about a home inventory and consumer product database for years.

He left BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) in 2009 in the midst of an investigation over a stock trade he made as a result of information he got at a company golf tournament. He was later ordered to pay $150,000 to the Ontario Securities Commission. “There were some very hard lessons to be learned there,” Donald says.

After leaving BlackBerry, he became the chief operating officer and a lead investor in PushLife, a mobile entertainment platform startup in Toronto that Google bought for $25 million in 2011.

Through it all, the idea for Encircle kept coming back to him. There are other free home inventory apps, but they didn’t have the product support elements, Donald says.

“It seemed so obvious that you would think someone would already be doing it. But after researching it, I couldn’t find anything that would do anything close to this,” he says. “Yet there was no technological reason it couldn’t be done.”

Donald says most people don’t keep the pieces of paper that come with products. Then, if they need to find a manual, warranty or other information, they tear through boxes trying to find it.

The Encircle app makes it possible to have all of that information at your fingertips, Donald says. As more people use the app, the product library will grow. It will become “a living, breathing ecosystem that will support the consumer,” he says.

The free app is easy to use, but Encircle is also selling a service where, for a cost, someone will create the home inventory for you.

To use the app, you just take a photo of the product and the receipt if it is available, and then plug in any information you have, such as the model and product identification number, value, warranty and other information.

The information is stored on virtual servers in “the cloud,” so even if you lose everything, including your computer, you can access it from anywhere. “Once you have created the inventory, maintaining it is a breeze,” Donald adds.

You can email the inventory to an insurance broker or anyone you need to notify of a loss. By keeping track of the value of your items, the app makes it easy to determine if you have right amount of insurance.

The app is free because the plan is to build a large user base and then get revenue from a variety of sources, such as manufacturers, retailers and service providers, who might want to pay nominal fees to provide consumer notifications or education about products, customer-requested special offers, insurance quotes and other information.

“We suspect that in the long term, the majority of our revenue will be driven by the ecosystem that supports the consumer,” Donald says.

Encircle provides a way for manufacturers to proactively support their customers, he says. For example, users would immediately be notified through the app if there is a notice of a voluntary recall of a product.

That’s something that could have saved Nolan’s home. After the fire, she learned that her dishwasher had been under a voluntary recall, but her family had no notification of that.

Donald says, although Encircle isn’t his first startup, it is the one he is most excited about.

“I am really passionate about solving problems and this is all about solving a complex problem and bringing together an outstanding team of people.”

Carolyn Nolan, director of operations at the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo, uses the Encircle app developed by Paul Donald. The app is used to compile a digital inventory of the products in your home.

Carolyn Nolan, director of operations at the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo, uses the Encircle app developed by Paul Donald. The app is used to compile a digital inventory of the products in your home.

MXM Nation has launched its Social Commerce Platform for Extreme Sports Athletes

MXM Nation to premiere its Social Commerce Platform for Extreme Sports Athletes at Monster Energy Toronto Supercross 2013

Just in time for Monster Energy Toronto Supercross 2013, technology start-up MXM Nation will launch its new online social commerce community aimed at helping extreme sports athletes reduce their costs, increase their visibility and become a top contender in their sport. MXM Nation’s social commerce platform assists athletes, dealers and service providers to connect and transact business with each other, with a focus on new and used parts, products and services.

“MXM Nation is built by extreme sport athletes who understand this world like the back of their hand, and speaks directly to athletes and their sponsors. This new social commerce community now allows key players in this space to transact not only in a price efficient way but in a social way”, says Myles Bartholomew, CEO of MXM Nation. “The site’s xPoints engine then rewards participants within the network – the more xPoints collected, the better the deals, the greater the access, and the greater the promotion.”

This premiere release of the MXM Nation platform allows anyone in the extreme sports industry to place products and services for sales, trade and barter. The more product and services a user places for sale, the more xPoints received. The MXM Nation platform also acts as a media portal, consolidating valuable information on a variety of extreme sports from trusted sources across the internet., making it the “go-to place online” for extreme sports-related news, events, products and services.

Members new to the community can register at www.mxmnation.com to “Join the Nation”. MXM Nation team will also be co-hosting a Toronto Supercross party Friday and Saturday night at Houston’s Bar and Grill.

About MXM Nation

Founded in 2006 as MX Mechanics, the company was established to offer amateur motocross riders support services and access to top level sponsors. Market testing and developments in both social networks and semantic technology provided the opening for MX Mechanics to evolve into MXM Nation. MXM Nation a transactional social platform and represents the evolution of sponsorship for extreme sports athletes. Through our proprietary platform we will drive exposure and visibility for athletes, sponsors, dealers and service providers giving more than 5 million extreme athletes the support necessary to focus on their performance and reduce the high costs associated with their sport.

For more information contact:

Myles Bartholomew
Info@mxmnation.com

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Twitter –@MXMNation

Tangam Systems among the Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products of 2012

It’s often said that the race goes to the swiftest. True, being first to cross the finish line, or, in business parlance, “to market,” can determine a winner; but it’s usually a combination of speed and strategy that allows an entity, whether a person or an enterprise, to rise to the top and stay there.

Casino Journal’s annual Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products contest is designed to uncover and honor the companies that are rising to the forefront of our industry, and creating products with the potential to transform the way business is done now and into the future.

Now in its 16th year and one of the oldest and most recognized such contests in the gaming industry, this year’s contest garnered 75 product entries, each of which was judged by an independent three-person panel that ultimately selected 20 worthy products. We would like to recognize and thank the judges for their valuable time and the diligence of their analysis:

• Warren Davidson, slot director, Coushatta Resort;

• Donne Grable, vice president, gaming operations, VCAT LLC; and

• Greg Solomon, chief executive officer, MotorCity Casino.

Platinum, Gold and Silver winners will be announced at a luncheon on the final day of the Gaming Technology Conference, which will be held March 12-13 at the Green Valley Ranch Casino Resort in Las Vegas. An Attendee’s Choice Award, which will be determined from votes cast by the people at Gaming Technology Conference, will also be unveiled at the luncheon.

The Top 20, listed alphabetically by company, follows.

Challenge Connection-BALLY TECHNOLOGIES
Challenge Connection is the first technology to actually connect an EGM on the floor to an operator’s Facebook page. It allows a player’s skill score to be posted to the casino Facebook leaderboard for bragging rights and prizes. The product enables casino operators to truly and effectively address the issue of how to begin creating “round-tripping” among players from the operator’s online presence to their land-based operation and back again.

As a Bally-hosted SaaS product, Challenge Connection is cost effective, simple for casino operators to implement, and easily integrated with existing technology. The product is also CMS agnostic; Bally uses an anonymous ID linked to the player card provided by the casino operator to track results, meaning player data remains with the operator and is never compromised.

Challenge Connection uses skill-based bonus rounds found in existing and future titles, and participation does not interrupt or alter regular play. Patrons playing on Challenge Connection games are not required to participate in challenges, so the games remain viable as a “normal” slot machine for other players. A steady flow of new titles featuring a variety of content means players will always have a fresh gaming experience to anticipate and enjoy.

“Bally’s Casino Connection is zooming ahead of the skill games competition with their innovative new product,” said one judge. “Bally understands the difference between random slot awards and actual skill and so do the players. Challenge Connection will establish not just game loyalty but casino loyalty as well.”

“This is a great product,” said another judge. “Not only has Bally created fun new interactive slot machines, they’ve created a way for players to easily share their results with their friends and family.”

iGaming Platform-BALLY TECHNOLOGIES
An online gaming portal, Bally’s iGaming platform offers casino operators the ability to augment their land-based casino gaming with online and mobile play-for-free and wager-based games. Its open architecture enables operators to choose from best-in-class content from a multitude of providers. Additionally, content is hosted, limiting the infrastructure required.

The iGaming Platform has a content management system allowing the operator to present their content as they desire, whenever they want, including addition and removal of specific pieces of content. These changes can be made by authorized users without having to make complex software changes. With Bally’s iGaming solution, operators can have the same flexibility on their virtual casino that they have on their land-based floors to connect and operate the best content at all times. Content changes can be made easily without disruption or loss of player data.

The iGaming platform is also designed for mobile integration and is ready to accommodate online gaming beyond poker, such as casino table games, video slots and sports betting. Casinos can market to their players in a way that has never been possible before. Players can play the same games; receive the same bonuses and offers; and earn the same points on the casino floor, at home, or on the move. The platform creates an additional revenue stream, a new market for operators’ products and services, and a means for collecting valuable player data. The platform has been deployed in Nevada and New Jersey.

One judge noted that the iGaming platform faces intense competition, but “the system integration is a huge advantage. Also, their product library is extensive when online slots are legalized; putting Bally in a good position in the future.”

“The best feature of the Bally iGaming Platform is the open architecture,” said another judge. “Game variety online will be just as important as game variety on the casino floor. Another great feature is the mobile integration. Mobile products continue to show exceptional growth and this segment will be no exception.”

crmViz-BIS2
BIS2’s crmViz Solution enables casino operators to create their own analytical reports, identify key revenue and profit opportunities and then design and execute their own campaigns, to capitalize on those opportunities. crmViz shortens the whole marketing/campaign creation and execution process so users can simply “see and act.” The product does all the “heavy” advanced analytical lifting for the user, and can be “customized” in the sense that the solution can be easily interfaced into other CRM solutions using crmViz’s RESTful interface.

crmViz is also highly interoperable in that having uniquely identified players, these players can then be used for marketing purposes using either BIS² or another third-party application. It is adaptable to almost any database or database structure and provides multiple levels of interaction with system data. All data is stored in the casino operators pre-existing database, no proprietary databases or data structures are required. For example, users can interact with the system data through the vizMaker configuration tool. This tool provides access to every aspect of the software system data. The RESTful interface (also used by vizMaker) provides an HTML/XML interface that can also touch almost any aspect of the system. BIS²’s crmViz is a fully repeatable solution and requires no customization to be operational. However, the solution can be customized if desired.

“The genius of BIS2’s graphical capabilities really shows through in crmVIZ,” commented one judge. “Operators can see all their segments in easy to read graphics making it much simpler to make those hard reinvestment decisions.”

Graphics were a key selling point for another judge: “There is no question that the best features of this product are the various Super Graphics. In particular the Spatial Super Graphic and Quartal Super Graphic reveal a lot of data that might be missed with other BI tools.”

CDI GlobalSuite Multi-Game/Multi-Denomination Module-CASINO DATA IMAGING
CDI’s Multi-Game/Multi-Denomination (MGMD) analysis module for GlobalSuite works closely with GlobalSuite’s early adopters, providing numerous methods to first identify the machines via high-level views followed by advanced quick views and detailed performance analysis of the assorted game themes and denominations.

When looking, for example, at 6 to 12 game themes with multiple denominations within a multi-game box, the analysis is quite daunting. Avoiding theme saturation, ensuring logical denomination and pay table selections, and providing best theme mixes for patrons are essential in maximizing multi-game performance. Within GlobalSuite’s new MGMD module, integrated online analytical processing (OLAP) for on-the-fly visualization queries and analysis facilitates high-level views and charts, quick-view dialogs, and in-depth slicing and dicing including pivot trend analysis. The implementation of version 1.0 provided real-world user input and feedback. This combined with CDI’s state-of-the art platform allows this new module to continuously evolve to meet customer requirements.

CDI’s Multi-Game/Multi-Denomination Module also includes custom reports from the GlobalSuite report library and customer ad hoc reports. GlobalSuite analysis embraces Data Mart and OLAP cube technology (for both the reporting and graphical environments) enabling the end user to interactively analyze multidimensional data from multiple perspectives. This translates to more actionable analysis that can also incorporate an assortment of visuals including stop-light Flags, data bars, 3D charts and more.

One judge praised Casino Data Imaging for keeping pace with operator needs. “CDI continues to make relevant advances with GlobalSuite and MGMD is as relevant as it gets today,” he said. “With more slots with more options hitting slot floors every day, this tool is a necessity in determining how best to use product.”

“The Multi-Game Multi-Denom Module from CDI addresses a common weakness in many slot tracking systems, the ability to easily analyze the performance of multiple games within one cabinet,” said another judge.

DoubleDown Casino Partner Program-INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY (IGT)
The very first of its kind, the IGT and DoubleDown Casino Partner Program offers land-based casinos a way to tap into the power of social gaming by providing a casino floor experience from anywhere. The program helps land-based casinos stay connected to their players through the DoubleDown Casino Facebook app that is embedded on the casino’s website. It is free for land-based casinos to participate and provides an incentive for land-based casinos by delivering a full-service, social gaming solution as well as a revenue sharing opportunity.

“Many casino operators are looking for ways to provide a play-for-free experience on their websites,” said one judge. “The Double Down Casino Partner Program does that and has many advantages over competitors. First, there is no cost to the operator. Second, the game variety and functionality is second to none. This is a full-service casino with table games, slots, and bingo. Third, name recognition. Not only is Double Down Casino widely known, but so are the IGT games within.”

“The embedded connection to Facebook makes all the difference in comparing this to other free play sites,” commented another judge. “Players want to share their experiences immediately and are now able to when playing on the casino-branded website provided by IGT and Double Down.”

Juke Box Feature in Dolly Parton Games-INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY (IGT)
IGT has taken interaction and immersive play to another level with the first-ever Juke Box Feature. Debuting on the hot new line of Dolly Parton games, this feature gives players a front-row seat to see one of the biggest performers of all time. The first-ever Juke Box feature brings the concert to the casino with Dolly Parton games.

“IGT has created a ‘duh’ moment for the industry as to how to launch games themed to music icons like Dolly,” said one judge. “Having a library of their music and allowing the players to listen to what they want will make the experience at the game even more enjoyable; creating more loyalty and time on device.”

Another judge said the best feature, “is that the slot player is in control of the music. The player gets to choose from 10 different greatest hits by Dolly. Slot players will love the ability to choose.”

Hologram Gaming Lounge-INTERBLOCK
The Interblock Hologram Gaming Lounge (IBHGL) is based on Musion 3D technology, which provides a new way of projecting video to create the illusion of life-size, full-color, 3D moving images. All of the images used on a system are 3-dimensional images, but projected as two-dimensional images into a 3D stage set. The mind of the audience creates the 3D illusion. Not only are the gaming possibilities endless, the marketing possibilities will take casinos to the next level. Three different games could be played simultaneously while the casino has options for advertising as well as customization of the dealers/game screens on the Hologram.

The IBHGL consists of a play station where the player interacts with the game and controls it through a touch sensitive display; a game generator in elctromechanical, video and live formats; an animation generator consisting of a powerful PC video server with a 1920 x 1080i HD graphics card and a video server that generates video animation to represent game results on the holographic video projection system; and the Musion Eyeliner System, a high-definition holographic video projection system. Holographic video projection can be also used as additional Player Information Display (PID) to the existing Interblock gaming devices. Roulette, Sic Bo, Craps, Color Craps, Blackjack, Baccarat, Big3Six, Pop’n Poker and Keno will be available on the IBHGL.

One judge called the Hologram Gaming Lounge a true game changer. “All of the images used on a system are 3-dimensional images, but projected as two-dimensional images into a 3D stage set,” he said. “The mind of the audience creates the 3D illusion. This product is truly a game changer for the gaming floors all over the world. Not only are the gaming possibilities endless, the marketing possibilities will take casinos to the next level. Three different games could be played simultaneously while the casino has options for advertising as well as customization of the dealers/game screens on the Hologram.”

“Interblock has always been at the forefront of automated table game innovation and this product truly takes it to the next level,” said another judge. “The 3D illusion is quite convincing and gives automated table games a boost of excitement.”

Dynamic Network Applications-JCM GLOBAL
JCM’s DNA (Dynamic Network Applications) is a set of bundled enhancement tools for the iVIZION bill validator that put control and information in operators’ hands, eliminating time-wasting procedures and empowering better, faster, smarter decision-making.

Operating wirelessly or hard-wired, DNA passively monitors the EGM “SAS” line for critical housekeeping data, while securing two-way communication with all critical peripheral components. With JCM’s DNA, operators can evolve their casino floors and get extensive reports in real time and deliver firmware updates instantly, with no downtime, across the entire operation. DNA also enables regulators to instantly verify peripheral device, software versions, view reports and more.

“The wireless and mobile features are solid features the slot technical departments will love to use,” said one judge. “Thetime-stamped digital image capture and document control solves an age-old problem of claims by guests about what they inserted into the bill validator. No longer will it take multiple keys and departments to solve the dispute.”

Another judge said JCM’s DNA offered much needed networked gaming-style capabilities: “With the cost implications of floor-wide Server Based Gaming still keeping it out of reach of most operators a reasonable solution to manage and update slot machine peripherals en masse is needed. This product can do that and much more.”

Mobile Loyalty System-JOINGO
Joingo’s Mobile Loyalty System allows casino operators to not only market to their patrons via mobile channels, but to market more intelligently by tying into existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases and targeting patrons using sophisticated segmentation tools that include patron history, personal preferences and geographic location – all in real time on all mobile devices. Joingo’s patented technology allows casino operators to easily create targeted offers, rapidly deploy campaigns, and tap into the hottest trends in mobile and social gaming – with no coding and no additional personnel needed. The Joingo Mobile Loyalty System is the only complete mobile marketing application that is tailor made for the casino gaming industry, offering cutting edge solutions that have been engineered with the casino’s existing systems, goals and challenges in mind.

The cloud-based software utilizes the latest technology to bridge the physical and digital casino worlds, bringing effective mobile marketing solutions to casino operators quickly and easily. More than a tool to create an app, Joingo’s system provides a unique, interactive mobile identity and strategy that ensures patrons connect and stay connected to the casino brand; an engine for immediate mobile messaging; a streamlined system that allows operators to create one message that is easily and consistently transmitted to any mobile device using standard SMS messaging, native and mobile web apps; the ability to design and update content with no coding required, keeping all mobile marketing initiatives in-house and under the operator’s control; and real-time campaign management and detailed analytics on patron behavior, redemptions and activity.

“Joingo Mobile Loyalty System does a good job of keeping your casino brand top of mind,” said one judge. “Sending offers to mobile phones is an essential piece for the casino marketing department.”

Another judge said the product’s Location Based Marketing Automation is its best feature. “The ability to send offers to your guests as they approach your property, or even a competitor’s property, makes this product extremely valuable.”

True Time Tournaments-KONAMI GAMING
True-Time Tournaments is a system-delivered slot tournament product available with Konami Gaming, Inc.’s SYNKROS TM. True-Time Tournaments allows casino operators to configure on-demand slot tournaments and consists of a Tournament Director module designed to manage the operational functions of the tournament (i.e., monitoring players, leaderboard management, tournament start and end times). Player invitations to the tournaments are managed through the True-Time Bonusing Toolkit and are issued based on criteria defined by the casino, including but not limited to amount wagered, video or reel type, day of the week, zip code, new card sign up, card tier status, group membership or trip frequency. Depending on how the tournament is set up and designed, players can receive multiple entries into a particular tournament to improve their odds of winning.

On-demand, automated slot tournaments have never been done before. To date, casino slot tournaments have followed a more traditional group-start or roped-off format. These events require customers to adjust their schedules and then frequently wait in lines to compete, create expenses associated with gaming floor disruption and result in labor expenses associated with managing group start events. True-Time Tournaments eliminate these issues while preserving the casino’s ability to offer slot tournaments, a popular promotional event. Additionally, the Midway Madness True-Time Tournament theme is easily customizable, which is a unique offering for casino customers seeking to differentiate their experience from competitors.

“The best feature of the True Time Tournament product is that the system is designed in such a way that you do not have to designate a specific tournament area,” said one judge. “Any machine that is equipped with True Time Windowing can be eligible.”

Another noted: “The flexibility is huge as casinos can configure these in so many ways including by tier, group sales codes, first-time players, etc.”

Straight Shot Multipliers-MULTIMEDIA GAMES
Multimedia Games’ Straight Shot Multiplier was developed to enhance the game play experience for patrons by highlighting each payline as it gets closer and closer to awarding big prizes.

The feature’s innovation lies in its ability to make the payline-reading process simple and straightforward for players. Having to focus on the four easy-to-read ‘straight’ paylines to determine what your winnings will be takes the headache and guesswork out of it, and lets the players concentrate solely on each payline’s progress toward awarding a multiplier. The hunt for matching symbols within each payline is even more clear-cut, since the “Straight Shot” does all the heavy lifting for players as it highlights each matching symbol with its assigned color, as it appears on the reels from left to right. As each matching symbol pops up, the “Straight Shot” stretches across the payline, awarding a multiplier as soon as the third matching symbol appears, and continuing to highlight the row if more matching symbols show up.

Players will buzz with excitement in the instance that multiple paylines light up with the “Straight Shot,” and then watch with anticipation to see which payline’s “Shot” will either drop off, if another matching symbol fails to show, or award its multipliers, if the matching symbol parade continues.

“Game manufacturers have the task of continuing to produce innovative and fun games for players, but some of the more innovative features have become complex and difficult to explain to slot players,” one judge said. “Straight Shot Multiplier offers a fun yet simple feature to video slot play.”

“Multimedia has done a great job with Straight Shot Multiplier of creating a game both multi-line video players and single-line reel players can both enjoy,” added another judge. “It takes the intimidation out of the video game just enough to possibly convert a reel player over; which gives them so many more options in most casinos today.”

Cash Handling System-NRT TECHNOLOGY
For the past decade, the Cash Handling System (CHS) back-office solution has been the transparent and efficient engine for NRT hardware solutions. This sophisticated tool captures, manages and reports on both the transactional activity and the overall “health” of the NRT system from the ticket redemption kiosk to cash recycling machines in the cage. As a central management platform, CHS utilizes a web-based interface and can be accessed from anywhere in the world, providing real-time, in-depth reporting and unit monitoring with a user-friendly intuitive graphical interface that allows customers to work smart, simple and secure.

NRT Technology launched an updated version of CHS in 2012.

The innovative re-design of CHS, which includes a new BackOffice & Mobile App, features a new, intuitive graphical user interface, a newly designed dashboard feature and advanced cash management functionality with enterprise scalability offering a macro and micro view of a casino’s performance. This web-based technology can connect up to 1,200 kiosk or hardware products from NRT and simultaneously carry out functions such as dispute resolution, machine management, system accounting and cash management.

The user experience is an important and valuable driver in the innovative re-design. NRT has integrated over a decade of in-the-field experience into the improved CHS, adding major efficiencies, flexibility and capabilities that will drastically reduce the time it takes to carry out particular functions. The new BackOffice & Mobile App product gives gaming operators the ability to perform operational back-office functions right in the palm of their hand, maximizing efficiencies and capabilities while improving the casino’s guest experience.

“The best feature of this product is the mobile application,” a judge noted. “The mobile application allows operators to solve problems for guests on the spot versus a long wait for a resolution.”

Mobile Enrollment-PLAYERSOFT TECHNOLOGIES
For years, casino operators have been seeking mobile applications to aid in the various services necessary to run a successful players club. Mobile Enrollment from Playersoft Technologies was created to help with the sign-up aspect of clubs; simply, elegantly, accurately and efficiently. By allowing virtually any staff member to take an iPod device on the floor, players can be enrolled in the Players Club without interrupting their gaming experience, thereby increasing membership, reducing players club lines and gathering 100 percent accurate customer data.

Mobile Enrollment is designed to be highly configurable and customizable to any specific operator’s preferences. With numerous configuration options, the system can be adapted exactly to the way the operator wants to do business with little or no customization. It works seamlessly with any casino management system, and provides a complete player enrollment. Mobile Enrollment can also provide complete reports on customer data, in addition to productivity reports to monitor employee performance or to enable a staff incentive program. This data can be seamlessly incorporated into other data warehouse systems and can be made available via web access if desired.

“Playersoft has taken the club booth to the floor,” commented one judge. “The ability to proactively seek out uncarded players and immediately get them registered into the club can mean millions of dollars in revenue for operators.”

“Mobile solutions to increase guest service are becoming more important every day,” added another judge. “The Mobile Enrollment product is fast, easy to use, and allows staff to serve guests in their current location. Instead of pointing the direction of where the guest must go to wait in line, the casino employee can help them right there on the spot.”

Slots Jackpot Accelerator with W-2G Printing and Loyalty Card Transfer Capabilities-RESORT ADVANTAGE (RA)
Resort Advantage’s innovative Slots Jackpot Accelerator (SJA) is an Android/IOS mobile device app that allows floor attendants to securely and efficiently bring the entire jackpot payout process to winning patrons on the floor and helps get those patrons gaming again quickly. As properties look to gain competitive advantage through the enhancement of their patrons’ gaming experience, RA saw the integration of its SJA mobile jackpot payout processing solution with Sightline’s Loyalty Card Plus Discover card and FutureLogic’s dual-port printers as unique opportunities to provide patrons with new jackpot payout options at the gaming machine.

For the first time, this integration allows winning patrons who are serviced via SJA to have the ability to immediately post all or part of their jackpot winnings, in real-time, to the patron’s Discover card. Once loaded, the patron’s Discover card can be used like any other Discover credit card on or off of the property. When used on the property for purchases, such as food, beverage or retail purchases, the property can offer additional discounts to the patron, thereby further enhancing the value of the patron’s jackpot winnings.

SJA’s real-time integration with FutureLogic’s dual-port TITO ticket printers in the gaming machine eliminates the need for floor attendants to retrieve these documents from the cage and allows them to complete the payout process without having to leave the patron. Combined with FutureLogic’s printers, SJA will provide a significant reduction in operating costs to properties while enhancing the patrons’ playing experience on the casino floor.

Both these innovative integrations to SJA provide casinos significant benefits by keeping patrons on property, reducing the cost and risk of cash management, and further reducing jackpot payout processing costs.

“I love the paperless aspect of the product,” a judge said. “In the 21st century, there is no reason we should be using dot matrix printers with triplicate W-2G’s. The ability for players to access their W-2G’s electronically has been a long time coming. Additionally, the ability to send the funds to a pre-paid credit card give the player a much better option over checks. They can have instant access to their money if they choose without carrying around large sums of cash.”

Loyalty Card Plus-SIGHTLINE PAYMENTS
The gaming industry is one of the last remaining segments of the U.S. economy that primarily functions in cash. Through Loyalty Card Plus (LCP), an open/closed loop system that has been architected from the ground up to specifically serve the wagering industry, Sightline Payment hopes to reduce and eventually eliminate cash from the gaming operator’s system.

LCP is a white-label prepaid card that integrates with a gaming operator’s existing loyalty card program and, through the use of Sightline’s proprietary closed-loop SPAN network, allows gaming patrons to transfer funds in real-time to/from slot systems, table games, race and sports books, and social casinos or online casinos. The open loop prepaid card allows the patron to spend their winnings on or off casino property everywhere Discover cards are accepted-including ATMs-nationwide. The open loop nature of LCP allows the patron access to their own funds anytime, anyway they desire while SPAN allows the gaming operator to permit funds to be transferred to and from wagering accounts.

Once the guest’s Loyalty Card Plus Discover Prepaid Card has been activated, they can simply add funds online, via their mobile phone, through the ACH network, with their credit card, debit card or checking account. Most importantly, using the SPAN Network, they can load winnings and jackpots through the slot management system, at the gaming operator cage or redemption kiosk, right at the table game, and through any online portal for online wagering, all in real-time.

“This is a highly innovative product with a strong future,” noted one judge. “The removal of coins from the casino floor was a monumental step forward and the next logical step will be to remove the cash and tickets.”

“The Loyalty Card Program allows for exceptional convenience for the player in being able to access funds almost anywhere while still supporting responsible gaming with the prepaid element,” the judge added.

Bejeweled-SPIELO INTERNATIONAL
With a copy of Bejeweled, PopCap’s flagship title, purchased somewhere in the world every 4.7 seconds, players will instantly recognize this global bestseller in its slot game form. SPIELO International has adapted the original game mechanics to the slot version, with a cascading matrix, buyable game boosts, and seven linked non-hierarchical progressives. Players can select between three skilled and three random-outcome bonuses. Experienced Bejeweled casual game players will recognize the similarities in the slot adaptation, while players new to the game will quickly learn why the brand has been so successful.

There are many new and exciting components to the slot version of Bejeweled, but the most innovative features are: there are no spinning reels, the player chooses and configures their bet steps (21 different variations on how to place a wager), and the skill mechanic that’s been introduced in three of the six bonuses.

The mini-game bonus provides traditional Bejeweled players the opportunity to make swaps as they would in the online casual game, while non-Bejeweled players get the chance to practice swapping prior to bonus play. This teach-to-play mechanic is widely used in traditional video gaming, but it is rare in slot machines due to their usual lack of skill elements. SPIELO International’s incarnation of Bejeweled, however, is changing that. Three bonus options allow the player to interact with the game using skill, as they would in the original casual game. Once the bonus is triggered, the player will have a tutorial pop up prior to each of the Skill bonuses starting. This tutorial is overlaid on top of the game screen as soon as the player enters the bonus round. Hints and tutorial videos are triggered by player inactivity, and help screens are available throughout the bonus round, ensuring even players unfamiliar with Bejeweled can enjoy the skilled games. Giving players this freedom to choose and to hone their skills makes Bejeweled a unique and entertaining addition to any casino floor.

From a hardware perspective Bejeweled has a touch screen-based button panel which makes the unique bet system interface possible and provides a clean and easy-to-read presentation for the player.

“Unlike many IP games that play nothing like the game, SPIELO International has brought in a similar dynamic that should be easy for patrons to understand,” a judge said. “Add to the skill elements that are available in the three bonus rounds and you have the makings of the first successful casual game crossover in the industry.”

The Behavioral Model-STICS

The Behavioral Model, offered as part of the SticsPredicts predictive assessment package, revolutionizes the way play activity is assessed and is a technological leap forward, providing an actionable basis in tailoring incentives for individual players to maximize revenue and profit.

The Behavioral Model examines the entire play history of each gambler in a casino’s database and extracts behavioral patterns from these data. It determines, for each visit, the likely reason each gambler stopped playing and ascribes this stopping behavior to one of three causes: the player stopped because they only wish to play with your money-not their own (free play-limited), the player stopped because they have another commitment (work, airport departure, etc)-these players are time-limited, or they stopped because they exhausted their available wallet (budget-limited.) Player behavior is always changing, when The Behavioral Model is run monthly it can catch these subtle changes in player behavior, so a casino is always making the most profitable offers.

The knowledge imparted by The Behavioral Model is critically important because it enables far better targeting of incentives to extract the most revenue and profit from each player.

According to one judge, “The best feature of The Behavioral Model is that it will reveal who can be affected by incentives and who cannot. I like this product. Stics has proven itself in the field of predictive analytics and The Behavioral Model is an important part of the system.”

27 Reel Movement Sensing-SUZO-HAPP GROUP

The 27 Reel Movement Sensing (27RMS) is the latest version of Suzo-Happ Group’s reel mechanism. It provides a complete reel mechanism system solution that is beneficial to original equipment manufacturers, enabling the OEMs to have a shorter development period thereby using fewer resources to build gaming machines. It boasts of a plug-and-play with the reels, driver and software included.

The 27 Reel Movement Sensing (27RMS) is comprised of three core parts, all working together to provide a complete system solution for controlling reel mechanisms. It does this through a 24v, 200 step constant current motor driver with I2C serial interface, capable of generating multiple speeds up to 150rpm, each with different ramps for slow, medium and fast acceleration.

Another innovation is the iSocket Software Application, which controls all motor management, including stall detection during spin, movement detection at standstill, spin control, symbol detection and ramp profiles. This allows up to 10 reels of different types to run simultaneously e.g., different widths, speeds, direction, ramp, variable symbol type and variable symbol sizes.

“Suzo-Happ’s 27RMS continues to take the physical reel to new levels,” said one judge. “Players who still enjoy the feel of reel games should enjoy the advancements that the product will allow game manufacturers to make.”

“Recent performance trends in mechanical reel games that have special features such as unique lighting and high rpm have shown that there is still potential for growth in this segment,” said another judge.

Table Games Yield ManagementTANGAM SYSTEMS
Table Games Yield Management (TYM) is the first and only system for applying yield management techniques to table games-an area that, until TYM, was thought to be too complex for yield management. TYM collects data from disparate casino systems and presents the information cohesively for executives. Executives and managers can intelligently adjust operations in the right areas, simultaneously saving labor costs while capturing more player demand, in contrast to the guesswork and confusion that marks current methods.

TYM’s innovation lies in its patent-pending algorithms that analyze the casino floor, player demand, table spread, and management targets in real-time; and that offer up real-time recommendations to floor staff on how to optimally set minimums for maximum profitability and the best possible player experience. These algorithms were developed over the course of three years, and are heavily based on Tangam’s unprecedented view into table games. TableEye, Tangam’s real-time video card tracking platform, has gathered over 1 million blackjack hands from actual casinos over the course of many years, compiling what is believed to be the largest digitized store of contemporary blackjack game data ever aggregated. TYM’s algorithms were developed through the rigorous analysis of this massive store of data.

“This is a great product that will make table games management much more efficient and cost effective,” said one judge.

Second Generation of Sensory Immersion 2.0, SPIDER-MAN Themed Slot-WMS GAMING
The new SPIDER-MAN slot game is WMS’ second game to feature the Sensory Immersion 2.0 synchronized motion system technology pioneered by D-BOX Technologies, following on the heels of the successful Aladdin & The Magic Quest themed slot that is proving popular with players across the country and generating superior coin-in performance across casino floors.

The SPIDER-MAN game features a first-of-its-kind take on free spins, enabled only through the increased capabilities of WMS’ new, third-generation CPU-NXT3 operating platform and Sensory Immersion 2.0 technology. The pure horsepower of the CPU-NXT3 platform makes it possible to synchronize the movement of the motion chair with the action of the exciting movie clips playing behind the reels during the spins, and also to have as many as eight reel sets spinning simultaneously on each play in the bonus round.

The SPIDER-MAN game is a “dual-array game” providing reel-spinning video action across two full 5×3 reel layouts with each spin, along with six random “Spider-Sense” features and exciting bonus rounds that include video and audio clips from the original film trilogy.

“WMS’s Sensory Immersion 2.0 continues the advancement of what should be the next phase of gaming on the slot floor,” one judge said.

Press Release: The Accelerator Centre Announces the Graduation of Sweet Tooth & Cyborg Trading Systems

World renowned for its cultivation of technology entrepreneurship, Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre announced today the graduation of Sweet Tooth and Cyborg Trading Systems from its award-winning incubation program. The graduation of the two companies was celebrated by more than 800 attendees at the annual Communitech Tech Leadership Conference in Waterloo.

Sweet Tooth, founded in 2010 by CEO Jay El-Kaake, is a turn-key points and rewards application for e-commerce stores operating on the Magento platform. As the world’s most flexible rewards system, Sweet Tooth offers retailers a completely unique, multi-channel loyalty and rewards experience for customer engagement. More than 3,000 merchants today use Sweet Tooth’s application to reward customers who like products on Facebook, refer friends and purchase products. Sweet Tooth’s goal is to create loyal customers by creating engaging, personalized experiences in real time. In May 2012, Sweet Tooth closed a $2.25 million financing round with funds coming from OMERS Ventures, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, Points International, and other government sources.

One of the first companies to enter the Accelerator Program at the Communitech Hub, Cyborg Trading Systems’ game- changing technology eliminates the complexity, time and costs that financial firms experience when automating their trading strategies. The company’s global clients include hedge funds, brokers, banks and professional traders.

Incorporated in 2008 by James McInnes, Peter Metford and Ben Bittrolff, Cyborg Trading has experienced rapid growth since entering the Accelerator Program. The team has grown from 10 to 20+ full-time staff in the last 12 months, and the company is experiencing strong organic growth. Cyborg has been awarded the prestigious Microsoft Blue Sky Innovation Excellence Award, the SAP Best Big Data Solution, and the OBAA and London Economic Development Corporation Innovation Award. The company recently closed a $2 million investment round, bringing with it highly accomplished and experienced industry veterans, Philip Deck and Sergei Tchetvertnykh, who will lend their expertise in advisory and board member roles.

“We are exceptionally proud of our latest graduates. Cyborg Trading Systems and Sweet Tooth have been active participants in the acceleration process, with both companies consistently taking full advantage of the business advisory, mentorship, connections to talent and networking services available to them through the Accelerator Program,” says Tim Ellis, CEO of Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre and Accelerator Program Inc.

About the Accelerator Centre

The Accelerator Centre, located within Waterloo’s David Johnston Research and Technology Park, is a world-renowned, award-winning facility dedicated to developing and commercializing technology start-ups. Through its Accelerator Program, early-stage companies located at the Accelerator Centre and the Communitech Hub receive seamless support services, including access to office facilities, coaching and mentoring, education, connections to capital, networking, R&D support and outreach, talent recruitment, technology transfer assistance, and commercialization expertise, enabling technology start-ups to move to market faster, create jobs and stimulate economic activity.

Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA, March 7

For further information, please contact:

Deb Domjan – Director, Marketing & Operations
Accelerator Centre
Phone: 519-342-2400
Email: ddomjan@acceleratorcentre.com

Call For Nominations Now Open For CDMN Moonshot Awards

Any Canadian company is welcome to apply; self-nominations are also welcome. Nominations close at 11:59pm ET on April 12. Finalists will gain entry to CDMN Canada 3.0 2013 to attend the awards ceremony at an unpublished discounted rate. By submitting a nomination, the nominee agrees to let CDMN use the nominee’s company name in marketing and promotional material for the CDMN Moonshot Awards and CDMN Canada 3.0.

The call for nominations is now open for the CDMN Moonshot Awards, established to recognize Canadian companies that create jobs and wealth for Canada through innovation in digital media (ICT and mobile). This is the inaugural year for the awards, designed to acknowledge leading companies that contribute to the CDMN Moonshot goal, that anyone can do anything online by 2017.

An expert panel of judges, including Host: CTV Question Period, Correspondent: W5 & Digital News Evangelist, Founder of New Man Media, Kevin Newman; Director at OMERS Ventures, Sid Paquette; Deloitte Canada’s Chief Innovation Officer, Terry Stuart; RocketScope Managing Director and Founder, April Dunford; and, CDMN Managing Director, Dr. Kevin Tuer, will be evaluating the nominees and determining the winners.

The ceremony for the first ever CDMN Moonshot Awards will take place on Tuesday, May 14 at CDMN Canada 3.0 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, where awards will be presented in four categories:

CDMN Digital Media Dynamic Company of the Year

Recognizing the Canadian company demonstrating the greatest increase in productivity through the adoption of digital media; three finalists will be recognized.

CDMN Digital Media Globalizer of the Year

Recognizing the Canadian company demonstrating the greatest increase in international sales, investments or other contributions to the growth of the Canadian digital media industry internationally; three finalists will be recognized.

CDMN Digital Media Innovator of the Year

Recognizing the Canadian company demonstrating the greatest degree of innovation through the adoption of digital media; three finalists will be recognized.

CDMN Digital Media Company of the Year

Recognizing the Canadian company that made the greatest contributions to the growth of the Canadian digital media industry in 2012/2013, selected from entrants to the CDMN Digital Media Innovator, Globalizer and Dynamic award categories.

Any Canadian company is welcome to apply; self-nominations are also welcome. Nominations close at 11:59pm ET on April 12. Finalists will gain entry to CDMN Canada 3.0 2013 to attend the awards ceremony at an unpublished discounted rate. By submitting a nomination, the nominee agrees to let CDMN use the nominee’s company name in marketing and promotional material for the CDMN Moonshot Awards and CDMN Canada 3.0. Visit www.canada30.ca/awards for updates.

The Smile Epidemic on its way to South by Southwest (SXSW)

Spreading smiles across America

For a small tech startup, it’s like getting invited to the prince’s ball.

The Smile Epidemic, a fledgling company based in Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre, is bound for Austin, Texas, where they’ll tell the digital world their story at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival.

Their goal? No big deal, just trying to build “the happiest community on earth,” as they like to put it.

The company will start by using a coveted invite to present to the heart of internet culture at the festival, where thousands from the tech sector are converging to find investors, employees, ideas and customers.

To get there, seven people from the Smile crew will cram into a rented RV and drive south from Waterloo, making stops at a shelter for foster kids, homes for families of sick children and an inner-city school in New Orleans.

Along the way, they plan to “smile bomb” crowded American streets, buy breakfast for strangers and do other random acts to make people smile – including visiting New Orleans’ hard-hit Ninth Ward, still recovering from hurricane Katrina.

The road trip to Texas represents a pivotal moment in the young life of the startup.

“This is our big push. We’re putting ourselves out to the world. We’re committed to doing this. And we’re going to find a way to do it,” said Jim Moss, the company’s co-founder.

“It’s the ultimate exposure for social media companies.”

The Smile Epidemic took a simple concept – sharing gratitude through digital media – and turned it into a business with a charitable mandate. Along the way, they’ve caught the attention of the Oprah Winfrey Network and the administration of Wilfrid Laurier University, who are using their software to gauge their own students’ happiness.

One of their most popular applications works like this: take a digital picture of yourself holding a note about something that makes you happy, and share it with the Smile Epidemic community. They have an app that puts “sticky notes” over people’s faces, where users can type whatever they’re grateful for.

Users can pledge to do that every day for 30 days, after which the Smile Epidemic says their outlook on life will be dramatically altered. It’s a simple tool, but it works, they say.

The psychology behind it is based on the idea that about half of people’s sense of optimism comes from their genetics, but the other half is flexible. We can train ourselves to be more positive, Moss said.

“A lot of people think we are who we are. But you can teach an old dog new tricks,” he said. “The problem for many people is that once you become an adult, we start to train optimism out of us.”

Its root is in the old concept of gratitude journals, updated for the modern era of social media. Moss and his chief education officer Greg Evans, who has a PhD in positive psychology, will tell that story at the South by Southwest festival on March 12.

The Smile Epidemic say they’ve expanded the basic concept to make money, by working as consultants to institutions and corporations. They say they can use the power of positive psychology to motivate employees, improve customer satisfaction, decrease sick days and increase productivity.

They licensed software originally designed for health and safety training and tailored it to their psychology training. The goal is that firms will pay for this, which will fund their non-profit work, such as visiting schools and speaking to kids.

“The people who stand to benefit financially, the companies, pay for it. The people who stand to benefit in real life, the families and schools and non-profits, they get to use it all for free,” Moss said.

The startup is the creation of Moss and his wife, Jennifer, who know a thing or two about gratitude. In September 2009, while living in California, Moss was struck by an autoimmune disorder that took away the use of his legs.

He thought he’d never walk again. His 10-year career as a professional lacrosse player was over, and Jennifer was worried she’d lose her partner and father of her children, too.

“We went through a pivotal moment in our lives. I was faced with two children and worrying he wouldn’t be around,” she said. “I was eight and a half months pregnant, facing a future without my husband.”

Moss started a blog, chronicling the things that he was grateful for, and he found it therapeutic. He slowly recovered, and he and his wife were permanently changed by the experience.

The young family moved to Waterloo where Moss started studying psychology, focusing on how our brains can be trained to be more positive. His blog grew into a social sharing project, and the company’s early roots took off from there.

“We want to create a movement of gratitude and happiness,” Jennifer said.

The Smile Epidemic may be the happiest little tech firm in the country. Moss calls himself the “chief happiness officer.” Their tech guy even built a program that locks him out of his laptop if he doesn’t smile genuinely every 20 minutes.

But this isn’t just feel-good, rose-coloured glasses stuff. They point to the science behind what they do – and research that shows it actually works.

“Everybody deserves to have the tools to be as happy as they can be, and we want everyone to have access to that,” Moss said. “And we can reach them with technology in a way we couldn’t 10 or 15 years ago.”