What are the 3 Levels of Verification?
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in Slot Tech Magazine, and it can be viewed (including pictures) by clicking here.
Kobetron Introduces Levels of Verification
Over the last 5 years, the process of data verification has become extremely dynamic due to the industry's ever changing technology. Some of these changes have required Kobetron to take a new approach to verification, while others have enabled Kobetron to use this same technology positively by incorporating new faster, easier, and better methods of verification. After years of research and numerous customer surveys, Kobetron has developed two new levels of verification. In addition to the standard Level 1 verification, Kobetron can now offer expanded Level 2 and Level 3 verification with the help of gaming manufacturers, regulators and operators. These new levels of verification will not only enhance the current process but they will revolutionize the industry as we know it today.
Level 1 verification is what the industry has been utilizing for the last 15 to 20 years. This method of verification is accomplished by extracting the device you want to test from the gaming machine and inserting it into a Kobetron GI-3000 Gaming Investigator for signature verification. Level 1 verification has been, and always will be, the most secure method of verification available. However, this level of verification does have some disadvantages, especially when the user has a large number of gaming machines to test. This method of testing requires the user to power down the gaming machine. In most cases it then requires CPU boards to be pulled-out and device seals to be broken. The device to be tested must then be extracted using a chip removal tool. Extreme caution must be used not to bend or break the pins which would render the device useless. After the device has been fully tested and verified, it must then be re-inserted in its original socket on the board. The seals must then be replaced, boards reconnected and the gaming machines powered back-up. If extreme caution is not used during this time-consuming process, damage to the device and/or gaming machine can occur. If you have several hundred machines to test using this method alone, it is very labor intensive and time-consuming. Is there an alternative?
Now imagine performing Level 1 verification on a designated sample rate of those machines and Level 2 on the remaining machines. Level 2 verification is accomplished using the Kobetron 3rd Party Embedded Engine. This level of verification requires the gaming machine Manufacturer to incorporate our 3rd Party Engine into their machine. Once the engine has been embedded in the manufacturer’s gaming machine, the verification process becomes very simple. To perform a Level 2 verification using the Kobetron 3rd Party Engine, the user simply needs to place the gaming machine in maintenance mode. Once the machine is in maintenance mode, the user selects the Kobetron menu and then selects the desired device to test. The Kobetron Embedded Engine will only produce and display a Kobetron signature for the selected device when it senses there is a Kobetron Agent (GI-3000 Agent) connected to an external port (i.e. RS-232, USB, etc.) on the gaming machine. Any attempt to perform a device verification without the GI-3000 Agent connected to the external port of the gaming machine will be restricted. This added security feature ensures that only authorized requests are processed. It also serves to maintain total 3rd Party integrity in the verification process. The Level 2 verification process should be used as a building block to enhance existing Level 1 process. Level 2 verification has many advantages. It can easily be performed on demand, is non invasive and does not require devices to be removed from the gaming machine; it can be performed more frequently without increasing the potential for equipment damage. This process also minimizes the testing time due to the elimination of board and seal removal and replacement. Please keep in mind that Level 2 verification does not replace Level 1, it just offers the user another method of verification to select from and provides additional options based on the verification procedures adopted by the Industry.
Level 3 verification is also accomplished using the Kobetron 3rd Party Embedded Engine and, as in Level 2 verification, requires the Manufacturer’s gaming machine to incorporate our Embedded Engine. The only difference between Level 2 and Level 3 verification is where the request for signature originates and where the GI-3000 Agent is connected. In Level 2 verification, the request for signature originates locally (from the gaming machine’s console) and the GI-3000 Agent is connected locally (to the gaming machine’s external port). With Level 3 verification, the request for signature can originate from the back office system or any other networked location (i.e. slot, accounting, or corporate offices using LAN or WAN networks tied to the back office system). The GI-3000 Agent can be connected to the external port of whatever system you are using to originate the signature request (i.e. back office system or any other networked system as stated above). This level of verification allows the user to remotely verify any gaming machine device without being physically located at the gaming machine console. Level 3 verification can be accomplished using any of the standard protocols currently used by gaming manufacturers.
Implementation of the Kobetron Embedded Engine has already begun in machines being produced by three industry OEMs, with regulatory approval pending. Integration requires only a minimal effort (generally seven to ten days of engineering time) in order to knit the Embedded Engine into the OEM's application. Once the engine has been embedded and tested, the engineering work is done and all similar machines can easily be retrofitted with the Kobetron Embedded Engine. The benefits of having Levels 2 and 3 available to everyone can greatly outweigh the investment of incorporating them.
Industry Group Benefits of Verification Levels
- Utilizes a building block approach for all verification needs
- Can ultimately verify both H/W and S/W in gaming machine
- Minimizes the need for additional verification equipment
- Value added selling feature for new game sales
- Streamlines new game approvals and implementations
- Reduces the verification time on new installs
- Reduces the need for additional verification equipment
- Minimizes the pre-testing of devices prior to installation
- Reduces amount of time required to verify gaming machines
- Allows for more frequent spot checking of gaming machines
- Allows them to remotely check any gaming machines
- Reduces amount of time required to verify gaming machines
- Randomly verify the performance of any Gaming Machine based on the Manufacturer’s Specifications
- Remotely check gaming machines in multiple properties
- Enables surveillance to record jackpot or other verification of internal gaming devices
This article originally appeared in the September 2005 copy of Slot Tech Magazine.