From banking and finance to dating and sports, technological advancements are transforming virtually every industry. Online gambling is no exception, with two rapidly growing pieces of technology driving the most recent market shifts. While artificial intelligence (AI) is the main character in most tech innovation stories today, and it undoubtedly has applications in online gambling, the technologies we'll be discussing here are augmented reality and virtual reality.
Since the introduction and growth of smartphone gambling, AR and VR are poised to cause the most significant changes in the online gambling market. Gambling operators and platforms hope to use them to drastically improve and transform the user experience.
What Is the Difference Between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality?
AR and VR are similar technologies in that they both change how we perceive our surroundings and interact with them. They do, however, differ in terms of hardware requirements and the extent to which they alter our surroundings.
As the name implies, augmented reality enhances the user's existing environment by superimposing a layer of virtual objects and sensory experiences on top of physical reality. This means that AR can be used to augment your everyday surroundings, such as your living room or backyard, by adding items, characters, audio, or a user interface. You can imagine a dragon sitting on your sofa or Pokemon emerging from a bush on the street using augmented reality.
Pokémon GO is one of the most widely used AR applications to date. This smartphone game makes use of augmented reality (AR) technology to render Pokémon in the user's environment based on data from the camera, GPS location, and local time. Face filters and other similar tools frequently incorporate lightweight AR technology.
Apart from a smartphone to run the application on, most AR applications don't require any kind of specialized hardware. However, more advanced AR applications cause the use of specialized eyewear.
AR software is easier to develop than VR because there is no need to create rendered backgrounds because the user's environment serves as the background.
VR creates a virtual environment that is nearly fully simulated. Its goal is to fully immerse the user in a virtual environment. The result is a one-of-a-kind experience in which you become completely detached from your actual surroundings. VR requires a special headset and speakers to work, limiting the number of people who can use it.
On the Verge of a New Online Gambling Revolution
What we can do with these two pieces of technology to make online gambling more exciting? Because the field of augmented reality and virtual reality gambling is still in its early stages, predicting how this technology will be used in online casinos is difficult. While VR and AR have become more popular in recent years, particularly among gamers, they are still a long way from being widely available.
The development of smartphone-ready gambling apps and games was the most recent revolution in the world of online gambling. It broke the ties that bound players to their computers and brick-and-mortar casinos and betting shops, allowing them to gamble on the go. Another significant event was the introduction of cryptocurrencies into the gambling industry, which provided an additional layer of profitability and privacy while also increasing transaction speed.
Using virtual reality and augmented reality in the online gambling industry has a single goal: to improve the user experience by recreating the atmosphere of an in-person gambling venue that can be enjoyed from the comfort of one's own home. According to Amit Caesar, the use of virtual reality could solve the problem of online gambling's lack of interactivity and plain drabness.
Applications of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Online Gambling
The importance of online-only gambling was one of the most important lessons gambling operators learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the lockdown, the online gambling sector saw an enormous increase in profitability thanks to gambling and betting sites. Even after the lockdown measures were eased, many players limited their gambling to the Internet. As a result, by 2021, the value of online gambling is expected to reach $72.02 billion.
Players will be able to enter a fully 3D version of a casino when they engage in virtual reality gambling. The players will be able to move around the venue and have a full 360° view of it within it. You'll be able to move from table to table, interact with dealers, get a drink, chat with other connected players, play a variety of games, and even light up a virtual cigarette during breaks inside this virtual casino. Users will not only be treated to a full casino experience, but they may also be transported to a faithful replica of famous real-life casinos such as those found in Las Vegas, enhancing the overall experience.
Card games, in particular, will benefit from the advancement of virtual reality, as players will communicate with one another and the dealer while seated at a table. Aside from verbal communication, features such as shaking hands, sharing a drink, and more are discussed.
While the technology is still in its early stages of development, we've already seen some VR casinos in action. For example, ME2ON's VR Casino for Gear VR is a fully functional virtual reality casino. This game features impressive slot game animations that can significantly enhance players' gaming experience. Most similar games, including VR Casino, are currently only available in entertainment-only versions. This means that users can only play with in-game chips and credits, rather than real money.
With augmented reality, there are two possibilities. For starters, it can serve a similar purpose to virtual reality because it aims to replicate the experience of playing in a land-based casino for online gamblers. It can also render a live dealer in your room, as well as provide you with additional options, games, and statistics.
Second, AR technology could be used in land-based gambling establishments to provide players with information about recently won jackpots, bonuses and promotions, slot machine payout data, and so on. However, because AR software for casinos is still in development, these potential applications are still speculative.
Obstacles to the Adoption of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
While all of this appears to be very promising in theory, there are significant barriers to AR and VR implementation in online casinos.
First and foremost, there is hardware. Both technologies cause the purchase of expensive dedicated headsets, posing a problem for widespread adoption.
Second, there aren't that many AR or VR casinos to try out on a larger scale right now. Most of the publicly available options are only for entertainment and do not yet have all the features.
There is no doubt that a VR/AR gambling ecosystem will pique the interest of both investors and operators, as well as players. AR and VR online gambling will remain on the periphery of the market until more advanced software and specialized hardware become more widely available and affordable.
Virtual Reality, Augmented and Artificial Intelligence 2021 specialist Amit Caesar wrote the article.
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