Moto Development Group has thrown together a neat prototype device that could possibly be the future of casinos: A multitouch, automatic, cybernetic Blackjack table. Finger-flicking financial fun, perhaps, but also a way to cut down on cheating.
The Blackjack and Texas hold’em-playing gizmo got a public showing recently, where it showed off its circular screen, multiple player positions, and neat gesture controls–but it’s really for the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas next year. These gestures are the key to the table’s powers, and they make the experience much closer to playing on the real thing than do other computer-based games do. For example, when dealing cards, the dealer actually slides his hand across the table as if he were physically flipping you a new card. You also place bets by sliding virtual chips across the surface, and you protect others from seeing your hand while you peek at the card’s corners with a curved hand gesture that’ll be massively familiar to devotees of Poker After Dark on TV.
It essentially takes the idea of Microsoft’s amazing Surface, adds in some custom-screen action and open-source spin, and mixes the whole bunch together in an innovative way that creates a very real use for large, flat-screen multitouch surfaces.
And you should take note, since Moto is also the design company behind the Zune HD and the Pure Digital Flip low-end digital video cams–just a few devices you might’ve heard about. Though this machine is just a proof of concept, handmade and hand-coded to suit its task–without any hints that a manufacturer is going to take it on board–it’s still an indicator for the future. Why? Because it’s going to make a casino’s job–separating you from your cash–far easier. With careful programming, it’s potentially harder to cheat this digital system–for a start, card-counting is an impossible task when the dealer has an infinitely large shoe. And with less man-in-the-loop action, there’s scope for less human error. It’s also faster to start and clean up entire games. In other words, this is definitely how the gaming tables of tomorrow’s casinos may go.