First of all; Sonic is not about to sponsor petrol stations across America; you won’t be seeing him fill up a BMW on the outskirts of Nevada, this is something completely random.
It’s a story that’s only come to fruition in the last week, with some only realising that the sound made by cash registers at gas stations make the exact same sound as Sonic collecting a ring.
There’s been a wide discussion of why this is; some rational, some that need to be forgotten already.
With that, here’s some background into the story, and just why there is a ring-sound at gas stations across America.
Gotta Go Gas
For years now across America, if you needed to fill up your car with a need for some Sour Skittles, you would simply go to the cashier and pay as normal.
But for some gas stations, a sound byte from the Sonic games has been playing every time the cashier scans an item.
The ‘ring’ sound plays without fail, and it’s been a sound at some gas stations that has been played for a few years now. Many just put it down to some strange coincidence, but it’s only in the last few years that some have decided to investigate it.
Thanks to some keen YouTube content-creators, it turns out the answer lies with Gilbarco Veeder-Root and SEGA Sammy Holdings.
Gilbarco Veeder-Root design the cash-registers called ‘Gilbarco Passports’ that are abound at these gas stations with the ‘ring-sound’. They are all loaded with a third party point-of-sale software system that allows items to be scanned in and made sure that they’re being paid for at the right gas station.
It turns out, SEGA had sold some aspects of their IP (Intellectual Properties) to Sammy Holdings, who make ‘Pachinko’ machines in Japan. In turn, Sammy have been licensing out these to cheap Chinese manufacturers.
With this, some companies decided to use some sound-bytes for their machines to essentially save themselves the time in creating their own, and that’s why the ring-sound from Sonic is heard at the cash registers at some gas stations across America.
The above video goes into far more detail about the process, but essentially, it all boils down to intellectual properties, licensing, and China. It’s a strange story but one that is still occurring at gas stations across the country to this day.
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