We all know that the world moves faster and faster all the time, and there have been plenty of predictions on the technological developments and improvements that are expected in 2017. The ones of interest right now, of course, are those that relate to the gambling industry.
Land-based and online casinos are both always trying to bring out better games, with better service. Live Dealer games, such as those seen at River Belle, are expected to become more immersive than ever in 2017, and many exciting game releases are expected. The most thrilling, and the biggest area of focus and development for 2017, is predicted to be Augmented Reality, or AR, and Virtual Reality, or VR.
The Year of AR and VR
Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies have been around for some time; the first VR helmet, by SEGA, was actually created and marketed more than 20 years ago. We’ve come a long way since then, and most industry insiders are predicting that 2017 will be the year when AR and VR really live up to their potential. This is true in many different fields, from interactive games like Pokemon Go to overlays on patients’ bodies for doctors performing surgery in the case of AR and from video games to therapy to cure phobias in the case of VR.
The 4 major players in the industry field right now are Oculus Rift, now owned by Facebook, Sony, HTC and OSVR. Online casinos are considered a major area of development, especially as millennials come of age. Betting is changing too, with the introduction of eSports, and most experts are saying that the virtual casinos of the future are going to need to blend classic casino games, video games and the new skills-based casino games that are emerging in order to hold the attention of the new millennial target market.
It will be very interesting to see how much Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality improve and grow in the years to come; this definitely feels like it’s only the beginning. Leaps and bounds have been made on PCs but going untethered is becoming more and more of a reality and a killer mobile app is still required. With global leaders in the technology and entertainment industries remaining committed to developing AR and VR now and in the future, the early exploration into all of these avenues is happening right now.
Untethered headsets are anticipated for Oculus and HTC for 2017, and cheaper tethered headsets will make the technology more accessible to more players. SlotsMillion has created a futuristic VR casino that is so realistic, you experience vertigo when you lean against the skyscraper windows. You can also interact with other players and spin the reels on immersive 3D Slots games.
In the near future, it might be possible to play an AR Poker match and see a representation of your tablemates’ physical tells in front of your eyes, so that you can read them. For now, Microgaming has a great VR Roulette demo out and you can see NetEnt’s Slots game, Jack’s 3D World, on YouTube if you use Google Glass.
Legislation Catches Up
The legislation around online gambling in Poland, Germany and other EU states has been stagnant for some time, but the moves that were finally made in 2016 are expected to come to fruition in 2017. Virtual casinos will face their own jurisdiction hurdles but the situation is not impossible; SlotsMillion, for example, worked closely with the Malta Gaming Authority to develop a new set of best practices for this brand new medium. The future is a little unknown, but also really exciting.