THE CAMERA and THE PINBALL APP.
The camera is a web cam that is mounted at the top center of backbox, looking at the playfield. It is designed to be effective in a dark environment since the total LED general illumination lighting will guarantee a well-lit playfield. Software is used to correct the parallax distortion, so that the output of the camera is a correct looking image.
Corrected Image, taken from top center of backbox (I used my phone for this example):
THE PINBALL APP
This app relies on a client/server relationship. All smartphones running the app and pinball machines would be clients, with a remote central server that serves all clients. When I play an app ready pinball machine, I scan the game’s barcode with the app, which allows me to communicate with the game via the server. If the game has an active internet connection, then after I scan the game’s barcode, the app looks to see if I have ever played a game owned by the game operator. If I haven’t, then I must subscribe to this game operator’s arcade (An arcade in this case is all of the games owned by this particular operator that are connected to the app) Each operator’s arcade includes a rewards type program run by this game operator. This is a lot like a grocery store or casino player’s card that both tracks your purchases and is used to receive discounts and promotions.
So as a pinball player, I may be have subscriptions to many “Arcades”, since there are a lot of game operators out there. As a player, I can control my arcades by setting certain parameters, such as receiving promotional material from this game operator.
The app should be free to all users, but everybody will have to read ads. Facebook and other social sites require users to endure reading ads to pay for their free to use social site. (A small price to pay for such a powerful app)
1- Receive promotions and “Rewards” points from operators for free game play.
2- Record all scores from league settings to establish their handicap.
3- Download a replay video to their phone. (See “Camera” above)
4- Redeem free play or discounts at a machine.
5- Play cashless when they tie a credit card or Paypal to their account.
6- Play a free 15-second “Test Ball” (1 per game per day) to make sure everything is working prior to paid play.
7- Control their arcades (subscriptions).
8- Play remote “2 connected” contests.
9- Utilize the social functions to communicate with other pinball enthusiasts.
10- Receive Tavern Tournament prizes as play credits via the app.
11- Game Finder. System automatically remembers locations (using Phone’s GPS) of a machine when a player scans the game’s bar code.
12- Play 2 connected game contests with a remote game. (See “Camera” above) (The description for 2 connected games will come in a future update)
13- Save Progress for Epic Play Rule Set (Epic Play will be described on the next update).
1- Remote game accounting.
2- Receive game issue notifications from players.
3- Perform remote game diagnostics.
4- Manage Tavern Tournaments.
5- Receive new subscriber notifications.
6- Send promotions to subscribers.
7- Receive game complaints from subscribers.
8- Play and watch a remote test ball. (See “Camera” above)
9- Observe game play remotely. (See “Camera” above)
10- Offer happy hour promotions on game.
11- Receive game play payments to credit card or Paypal.
12- Receive Service Bulletins from manufacturers.
13- Order parts from manufacturers or distributors.
14- Communicate with Tech Services via text.
15- Setup to receive or block auto code updates.
16- Scan a game’s barcode after rotating game to update it’s location in the “Find a Game” feature.
1- Send notifications to all subscribers
2- Send service bulletins to operators/owners
3- Update games remotely with new code.
4- Receive parts orders.
5- Receive Tech Services inquiries.
1- League meets can be initiated and scores kept in the app.
Paying for the app-
It’s free to download and use by all parties however advertising will be sold and displayed for anybody using the app. This works like other online advertising where the user can skip watching the ad after a few seconds.
The following would most likely purchase advertising space on the app:
Pinball and Arcade Shows
Pinball Parts and Accessories Vendors
Food & Beverage Companies
Travel (Airlines/Hotel/Rental Car)
Video Game Companies
Next Wizard’s Arcade update (post #7), will be Ingredient #6- “More Games” Menu