Title:
Deposit monitor system for game tokens
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A deposit monitor system for game tokens includes a deposit and payout machine installed in an amusement place for depositing and paying out game tokens based on input of user authentication information, a web server configured to acquire and store the user authentication information and deposit information of the game tokens, an unique code for the amusement place, a web page of the amusement place, and a mobile terminal configured to fetch the unique code to display the web page and allow the user to input authentication information, wherein the mobile terminal acquires a URL by fetching the unique code, and when the web server compares the input user authentication information with the stored user authentication information, and if a user is authenticated based on the comparison, a web page corresponding to the URL with the deposit information of the game tokens of the user is displayed on the mobile terminal.



Inventors:
Yamagishi, Junichi (Chuo-ku, JP)
Ayabe, Sakae (Isehara-shi, JP)
Application Number:
11/516807
Publication Date:
03/15/2007
Filing Date:
09/06/2006
Assignee:
Nihon Unica Corporation (Chuo-ku, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24; A63F7/02; A63F9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEICHLITER, CHASE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JORDAN AND HAMBURG LLP (122 EAST 42ND STREET, SUITE 4000, NEW YORK, NY, 10168, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A deposit monitor system for game tokens, comprising: at least one deposit and payout machine installed in an amusement place for depositing and paying out game tokens based on input of user authentication information; a web server configured to acquire and store the user authentication information and deposit information of the game tokens and store the acquired information; an unique code for the amusement place; a web page of the amusement place; and a mobile terminal configured to fetch the unique code to display the web page and allow the user to input authentication information, wherein the mobile terminal acquires a URL by fetching the unique code, and when the user authentication information is input through the mobile terminal, the web server compares the input user authentication information with the stored user authentication information, and if a user is authenticated based on the comparison, the web page corresponding to the URL with deposit information of game tokens of the user is displayed on the mobile terminal.

2. The deposit monitor system for game tokens of claim 1, wherein the unique code is a two-secondary bar code.

3. The deposit monitor system for game tokens of claim 1, wherein the web server configured to store at least a commercial of the amusement place and transmit the commercials to the mobile terminal.

4. The deposit monitor system for game tokens of claim 2, wherein the web server configured to store at least a commercial of the amusement place and transmit the commercials to the mobile terminal.

5. The deposit monitor system for game tokens of claim 1, wherein the web server configured to prepare expiration information of the deposit information and transmit the expiration information to the mobile terminal.

6. The deposit monitor system for game tokens of claim 2, wherein the web server configured to prepare expiration information of the deposit information and transmit the expiration information to the mobile terminal.

7. The deposit monitor system for game tokens of claim 3, wherein the web server configured to prepare expiration information of the deposit information and transmit the expiration information to the mobile terminal.

8. The deposit monitor system for game tokens of claim 4, wherein the web server configured to prepare expiration information of the deposit information and transmit the expiration information to the mobile terminal.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a deposit monitor system for game tokens such as medals capable of monitoring deposit information of game tokens by using a mobile terminal such as a cellular phone.

2. Description of the Related Art

Heretofore, in general, amusement places such as amusement arcade have some game medal machines using medals as game tokens are installed. Some amusement places adopt a system that allows a user to deposit the remaining medals after the game play with a medal deposit and payout machine. The system pays out the deposited medals from the deposit and payout machine to the user when coming again to the amusement place, thereby allowing the user to play the medal game.

In the system, when the medals are deposited, an ID (identification data) and a PW (pass word) are inputted into the medal deposit and payout machine as user authentication information to be stored, for example. When the deposited medals are paid out, the system makes the user input an ID and a PW into the deposit and payout machine. Only if the input ID and PW correspond to the stored ID and PW, personal authentication is completed to pay out the deposited medals to the user.

However, in such a system, when a user who deposits remaining medals confirms deposit information as information of the deposited medals, it is necessary to notify personal information of the user to the amusement place side. Therefore, the confirmation of the deposit information becomes complicated.

Further, if the deposited medals are reduced to zero, a connection between a user and the amusement place is eliminated. In this case, it is difficult to provide the user with appropriate services afterward.

The related art mentioned above is disclosed in Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2000-61124.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a deposit monitor system for game tokens capable of facilitating confirmation of deposit information of game tokens and providing users with appropriate services.

In order to accomplish the object, an aspect of the present invention provides a deposit monitor system for game tokens including a deposit and payout machine installed in an amusement place for depositing and paying out game tokens such as medals based on input of user authentication information, a web server configured to acquire the user authentication information and deposit information of game tokens and store the acquired information, an unique code for the amusement place, and a web page of the amusement place, a mobile terminal configured to fetch the unique code to display the web page and allow the user to input authentication information. The mobile terminal acquires a URL by fetching the unique code, and when user authentication information is input through the mobile terminal, the web server compares the input user authentication information with the stored user authentication information. If a user is authenticated based on the comparison, the web page corresponding to the URL with deposit information of game tokens of the user is displayed on the mobile terminal.

According to the aspect, the deposit monitor system makes the mobile terminal display the web page with the deposit information based on reading the unique code and inputting the user authentication information through the mobile terminal, thereby facilitating to confirm the deposit information.

Further, the deposit monitor system can give an occasion to acquire an e-mail address of the mobile terminal to the amusement place side, so that the amusement place side can acquire the e-mail address to provide users with appropriate services.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram showing a deposit monitor system for game tokens according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a flowchart showing user login process of the embodiment; and

FIG. 3 is a flowchart showing personal authentication process and information transmission process of the embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A deposit monitor system for game tokens according to an embodiment of the present invention will be explained in detail. The embodiment has a novelty in utilization of a mobile terminal to facilitate to confirm deposit information of game tokens and provide users with appropriate services.

A configuration of the deposit monitor system for game tokens according to the embodiment will be explained with reference to FIG. 1 that is a schematic diagram showing the deposit monitor system for game tokens.

As shown in FIG. 1, the deposit monitor system is located in each of a plurality of game arcades 1 as amusement places represented with numerals of 1A, 1B and the like. In FIG. 1, only two amusement places 1A and 1B are indicated, but more than two amusement places are existed actually. Contrastively, only one amusement place may be existed. According to the embodiment, a configuration of each amusement places 1 (1A, 1B) is the same, and therefore the game arcade 1A will be mainly explained. The game arcade 1 is provided with, for example, a plurality of medal deposit and payout machines 3, 5 and the like, a relay unit 7, and a two-dimensional bar code 9 constituted from QR (quick response) code as an unique code in addition to medal game machines. In FIG. 1, only two medal deposit and payout machines 3 and 5 are indicated, but more than two medal deposit and payout machines are existed actually. Contrastively, only one medal deposit and payout machine may be existed.

Each of the medal deposit and payout machine is configured to allow a user to deposit medals as game tokens therein and pay out the deposited medals to the user therefrom. Therefore, a user deposits the remaining medals after the game play by using medals in the medal deposit and payout machine, and when the user comes to the game arcade again, the user receives the payout of the deposited medals to play games. When the remaining medals are deposited, membership number is given to the user from the game arcade side, and the given membership number is stored in the medal deposit and payout machines 3, 5 and the like. Then, the user inputs the given membership number into a medal deposit and payout machine 3, 5 or the like to be specified first, and the user inputs an arbitrary ID and PW as user authentication information into a medal deposit and payout machine 3, 5 or the like to complete the deposit of the medals. The input ID and PW are stored in the medal deposit and payout machines 3, 5 and the like together with the membership number. When the deposited medals are paid out to the user, the system makes the user input an ID and a PW together with the membership number into a medal deposit and payout machine 3, 5 or the like. Only if the input ID and PW are compared with the stored ID and PW to complete personal authentication by the correspondence between the IDs and PWs, the deposited medals are paid out to the user.

The relay unit 7 is connected to all the medal deposit and payout machines 3, 5 and the like by wired or wireless LAN.

The two-dimensional bar code 9 is readable by at least a cellular phone 11 that is a portable or mobile terminal. According to the embodiment, each game arcade 1 is provided with a two-dimensional bar code 9 that distinguishes the corresponding game arcade 1. The two-dimensional bar code 9 is represented on posters, advertisements, game machines, special area and the like in the game arcade 1. Outside the game arcade 1, the two-dimensional bar code 9 may be represented on posters, advertisements, web pages and the like. In this case, the two-dimensional bar card 9 may be also readable by at least the cellular phone 11.

The relay unit 7 is connected to the web server 13 by a wired or wireless network. In a similar fashion, the relay units (7) of the other game arcades 1 are also connected to the web server 13.

The cellular phone 11 is configured to fetch the two-dimensional bar code 9 by reading, for example, photographing, download web pages and transmit and receive e-mail. The cellular phone 11 has a mobile phone wallet function. With the function, it can perform settlement processing. Further, the cellular phone 11 includes a display (not shown) and a memory (not shown) storing the same membership number as the membership number stored in the medal deposit and payout machines 3, 5 and the like.

The web server 13 is configured to gather, store, and manage information stored in each medal deposit and payout machine of each game arcade 1. The information includes membership numbers, IDs, PWs and deposit information that is information of deposited medals including the number of the medals and validity period thereof. Further, the web sever 13 stores commercials and web pages for all the game arcades 1. Each web page can be accessed through a URL (Uniform Resource Locators) of the corresponding game arcade 1.

Operation of the deposit monitor system will be explain with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3 in which FIG. 2 is a flowchart showing user login process and FIG. 3 is a flowchart showing personal authentication process and information transmission process.

In the operation, a confirmation of deposit information of medals is performed. As premise for the confirmation, a user plays at medal game machines by using medals in a game arcade 1, and if the medals remain after the game play, the user deposits the remaining medals in a medal deposit and payout machine 3, 5 or the like if the medals remain. When the user comes to the game arcade 1 again, the user receives payout of the deposited medals from the medal deposit and payout machine 3, 5 or the like to play games.

When the remaining medals are deposited, the system makes the user an arbitrary ID, PW, a membership number and the like input into the deposit and payout machine 3, 5 or the like. Thereafter, if the input ID, PW and membership number correspond to the stored ID, PW, membership number and the like, personal authentication of the user is completed to pay out the deposited medals to the user.

Deposit information of the medals in the medal deposit and payout machines 3, 5 and the like is arbitrarily or periodically gathered by and stored in the web server 13.

When the user confirms the deposit information of the medals, as shown in FIG. 2, the user logs in a web page of an game arcade 1. The login process is as follows.

In step S1 of FIG. 2, the user reads a two-secondary bar code 9 through a user's cellular phone 11 in the game arcade 1. By reading the two-secondary bar code 9, the login process proceeds to step S2.

In step S2, an exclusive URL of the game arcade 1 is downloaded into the cellular phone 11 operated by the user in response to the reading of the two-dimensional bar code 9. The down-loaded URL is displayed in the display of the cellular phone 11. Thereafter, the login process proceeds to step S3.

In step S3, the system makes the user input an ID and PW through the cellular phone 11 to log in the URL displayed on the cellular phone 11. The ID and PW for the login is the same as those used in the medal deposit and payout machines 3, 5 and the like. At the time of inputting the ID and PW, the system makes the user input a previously given membership number input through the cellular phone 11. The input membership number is compared with the stored membership number in the web server 13, to specify the user. To the specified user, personal authentication is performed. If the personal authentication is completed based on the input ID and PW, the login to the URL is completed to display the web page in the display of the cellular phone 11. Thereafter, the login process proceeds to step S4.

In step S4, the number of the deposited medals and validity period thereof as deposit information are automatically indicated on the web page in the display of the cellular phone 11 in response to the login. Alternatively, it may display the number of the deposited medals and validity period thereof on the basis of user's operation on the web page.

In the game arcade side, an e-mail address of the user's cellular phone 11 is acquired by, for example, making the user input the e-mail address together with the ID, PW, membership number and the like at the time of the login. Alternatively, an e-mail address of the user's cellular phone 11 may be acquired by automatically preparing an e-mail to the game arcade 1 side in response to the reading of the two-dimensional bar code 9 and transmitting the prepared e-mail. Therefore, the system can provide the user with a URL to which information to indicate commercials on the web page is added via e-mail. Alternatively, the system may provide the user with the commercials via e-mail directly. That is, the system can provide users with information via e-mail. Further, the system may provide the user the other information such as expiration of the deposited medals as a kind of deposit information via e-mail. In this way, appropriate services can be given to the user.

Details of the personal authentication process in step S3 of FIG. 2 and information transmission process in step S4 of FIG. 2 will be explained with reference to FIG. 3.

In step S11, the input ID and PW are read by the web server 13. Namely, the ID and PW inputted by the user for the login is step S3 of FIG. 2 are read, and the personal authentication process proceeds to step S12.

In step S12, the web server 13 determines whether or not the input ID and PW correspond to the stored ID and PW. Namely, the input ID and PW are compared with the stored ID and PW, respectively. If corresponded (YES), the personal authentication is completed to make transition to the information transmission process from step S13. If not corresponded (NO), the personal authentication is not completed to terminate the process. In this case, it may adopt to add a step of informing the difference between the IDs and the PWs.

In step S13, the web server 13 transmits the number of deposited medals and validity period thereof as the deposit information to the logged-in cellular phone 11. As this result, the number of deposited medals and validity period thereof are displayed on the web page in the display of the logged-in cellular phone 11. Thereafter, the information transmission process proceeds to step S14.

In step S14, commercials and the like as other information are transmitted to the cellular phone 11 via e-mail based on the e-mail address that is acquired at the time of the login from the game arcade side.

According to the embodiment, a user can easily confirm deposit information of deposited medals through a cellular phone 11.

By comparing a membership number input through the cellular phone 11 and the membership number stored in the medal deposit and payout machines 3, 5 and the like, the user can be specified before personal authentication.

The game arcade side can acquire e-mail address of the user's cellular phone 11 accurately, when the user read a two-secondary bar code 9 through the cellular phone 11 and log in the URL.

In this way, the deposit monitor system can give an occasion to acquire an e-mail address of the mobile terminal to game arcade side, so that the game arcade side can acquire the e-mail to provide users with appropriate services.

The two-dimensional bar code 9 is adopted as unique code according to the embodiment, however, other code such as one-dimensional bar code or the like may be adopted as unique code.

The relay unit 7 is for the purpose of reducing a load of the web server 13, and it may be omitted.

The system may be applied to various game arcades such as pachinko halls that users borrow game tokens to play games. Therefore, various game tokens such as pachinko balls to be lent to the users may be adopted according to the kind of game arcade to which the system is applied.