Imaging the world: The Active Silicon Embedded Vision Travel GuideJuly 6, 2021
We’ve supplied imaging components for some seriously cool projects in our 30 year history, and our frame grabbers, camera solutions and embedded systems are imaging the world in some really fascinating locations. While digging out photos and stories of past trips, we thought it would be interesting to share more about the amazing destinations that our vision products have traveled to.
In the first part of our Imaging the World series, we look at where our embedded vision systems for the gaming industry can be found, and what else you might come across while you’re there.
Embedded vision for first-class casinos
Supplying custom embedded electronics for roulette wheels and chip sorting machines has been a large part of our business for decades. Alongside custom-made devices, our ARH Optical Reader is an electro-optical unit designed to sit on the edge of a roulette wheel and read the winning number, as well as ball speed/direction, wheel speed/direction and overall game cycle timings. High levels of security and integrity are pivotal in the casino world, and our products have to be proven to be tamper-proof, highly reliable and 100% accurate.
Our embedded vision electronics have made it to the principality of Monaco and the glamorous city of Monte Carlo. Gambling is huge business in Monte Carlo and the city has four casinos, open to rich and poor from across the globe – except Monaco citizens themselves. Famous for some of the most exclusive hotels and extravagant cruisers in the world, highlights in the tourist calendar include the Monaco Yacht Show and Formula 1 Grand Prix. While the principality is home to around 32,000 residents, less than 20% are Monaco nationals and more than 125 other nationalities make up the remainder of the population.
You can also see our products in action in the glitzy venues of Las Vegas. While the US casinos are generally less focused on roulette, the hotels and clubs here cater to an international audience, and wheels are common. Las Vegas is Spanish for The Meadows, and this vibrant, lush city has thrived in the midst of the driest desert in North America, receiving less than four inches of rain annually. Drive just a couple of hours from the Strip and you’ll reach snow-capped mountains – it really it is a city for all seasons! The 150 casinos contribute to the millions of lights within the city and it’s considered the brightest spot on earth, racking up an electricity bill around US$1.3m a day.
Our roulette technology has also made it to South Africa, which boasts the largest casino in Africa, the Rio Casino Resort. Legislation in the country allows a maximum of 41 casino licenses, and as of 2019, 39 of these were in use. While Johannesburg is the largest city in the country, it’s not among the nation’s three capitals, which are Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial) and Cape Town (legislative). With 11 recognized official languages, tourists can find familiarity in many of the colloquial phrases, such as “lekker”, from Dutch, meaning nice; “kief”, from Arabic, meaning awesome; or “Shebeen”, from Irish, referring to an illegal bar.
Adding to the global reach, casinos in Argentina also host our embedded rim sensor technology, where over 70 casinos can be found along the length and breadth of the country. The largest is Trilenium Casino in the city of Tigre, named after the tigers and jaguars that were once common in the region. Argentina enjoys 11 different climate zones according to the Köppen classification system, from subtropical in the north to subantarctic in the south, and including semi-arid Patagonia and the western Cuyo region where icy conditions persist at altitudes higher than 4,000m. This creates huge biodiversity, and the country is home to more than 9300 vascular plant species, 1000 bird species and 375 mammal species. Famous exports from Argentina include the provocative Tango dance, world-class footballers Diego Maradona and Lionel Messe and, in 2020, nearly 4m litres of wine.
This Special Administrative Region of China is known as the gambling capital of the world for good reason – 40% of its GDP is based on gaming. As the only region in China where gambling is permitted, most tourists come from the Chinese mainland, but, with the entry of more foreign casinos, Macau has become popular with global gamesters, and revenue from the gambling industry is seven times larger than in Las Vegas. However, despite this apparent wealth and glamour, social inequality is marked in Macau. Government figures state that just over 2% of the population live in poverty but charities suggest it’s more like 10%. The cost of housing is given as a major contributor to this, with rent prices over 40% higher than in the UK and an average apartment costing around GBP360,000 to purchase. Make the trip to Macau and, as well as our embedded vision systems, you might also want to see the world’s largest water-based stage show, The House of Dancing Water, where acrobats and actors perform around a 14m litre pool, the Macau Museum of Art or Albergue 1601 restaurant, an exquisite reminder of Macau’s Portuguese heritage.
Around the world
Of course, if staying in once place isn’t your thing, you can also find our embedded vision systems in gaming tables on cruise ships, where you can select your lucky numbers along with your destination. These include liners owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines and Carnival Cruise Line headquartered in Florida. Maybe we’ll even get onboard the planned Titanic II, a US$500m replica of the original doomed ship, currently due to set sail in 2022.
We’re proud of our truly global reach and love hearing about our imaging products making their way to exotic and far-flung destinations. Get in touch to find out more about our custom-built embedded vision systems, high-speed image acquisition cards and powerful but compact autofocus-zoom cameras, or view our full product range.