3 months; $8,500
Capturing the Action
Four cameras (two dome, two rail) record the game, and capture devices convert the video to MPEG4 format and load it onto the PC. A custom software application combines the video files with RFID data from the tagged chips and cards to create a simulcast. (Televised tournaments instead use concealed cams to peek at players' hands.)
Following the Money
The RFID reader tracks what cards are played and what chips have been bet. Milner's Game Engine program reads that data and applies the rules of poker to come up with each player's chance of winning the hand and to generate graphics to lay over the video. When a player dumps his cards over the antenna into the "muck" pile, the application notes that the player has folded.
Putting it Onscreen
A commercial library of code called TVideoGrabber contains instructions for getting the video from the capture devices to stream onscreen. The video-processing engine uses information from the Game Engine -- such as who's in, who's out, who's up and who's down -- to determine which camera feed to show during a hand. When only two players are left, the cameras zoom in on those players.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.