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Zytronic’s Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™) has integral role in innovative gaming hardware

21 July 2010

Zytronic has won another major gaming industry endorsement for its touch sensor products thanks to its proprietary Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™). A 10.4" version of the popular ZYBRID® customisable touch sensor is being employed by international gaming machine manufacturer Shuffle Master to enhance the user interfaces of its latest electronic card table offering, the i-Table™.

Utilising six, networked touch-enabled player displays, plus an additional dealer station, embedded in a full size gaming table, the i-Table combines a feature-rich, highly efficient and intuitive electronic betting interface with the human interaction of a live dealer. It can quickly switch between a selection of different card games; with Blackjack, Baccarat, Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold'em all being supported.Automation of the betting process via the touch interface permits marked improvements in game security, accuracy and speed. This results in an estimated 30% increase in the number of rounds played per hour, allowing a considerable boost in turnover. It also means that less dealer training and fewer staff are required, as well as removing the possibility of dealing errors, chip theft, dealer/player collusion, or card manipulation.

The PCT™ sensing structure that forms the basis of ZYBRID® is made up of an intricate matrix of capacitor elements that are just 10µm in thickness. These are embedded inside a laminated substrate then placed behind a protective overlay. As the capacitor matrix is not in contact with the external environment, it remains impervious to the sources of damage that often affect alternative touchscreen technologies, built on traditional front-facing sensor mechanisms. Impact, abrasion, dirt build up, harsh chemicals, exposure to the elements, liquid spillages, or various other types of wear and tear which often stifle the continued operation of resistive or surface capacitive touchcreens do not pose a threat to PCT™. These features mean that it is highly optimised for table applications such as the i-Table. Furthermore, the custom touch sensor developed with Shuffle Master has a rear printed border to help blend the screens into the table top, and the edge-to-edge glass design eliminates unsightly bezels required by many other touch technologies. The i-Table is already successfully in use in gaming venues across North America, including Las Vegas, San Diego, and Delaware.

“The running of a gaming operation is becoming increasingly challenging, with management needing to meet players’ demands for a greater array of game options, while at the same time improving productivity and security levels,” states Nathan Wadds, Senior Vice President of Research & Development at Shuffle Master. “The iTable has the look and feel of the live tables that customers prefer without the heavy operating costs or risks of theft and cheating associated with them. For this product to be successful, however, the integrity and longevity of the touchscreen areas’ functionality had to be assured. We tested a variety of solutions from different suppliers, but these could not adequately deal with our concerns about durability.

Zytronic’s PCT™ touch sensing system stood out as the best way to guarantee touch performance and avoid downtime. The customisable nature of PCT™ also provided us with the ability to create an attractive, near seamless playing surface. Ian Crosby, Zytronic’s Sales and Marketing Director comments: “Reliability in a demanding, high use public environment, design flexibility and responsiveness were important considerations for Shuffle Master when specifying the touchscreen for iTable. By integrating custom designed ZYBRID® sensors into the playing surface, players benefit from a more compelling gaming experience, and proprietors have the potential to generate greater revenue from each table, as the proven durability of the  touch interface minimises the risk of costly downtime and repairs.”

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