Advances in technology are transforming almost every conceivable field, from banking and finance to communication and sports. Online gambling is no exception, and two fast-evolving technologies are responsible for the latest changes in this market. Artificial intelligence and virtual reality are poised to cause potentially the biggest changes in the online gambling market since the introduction and growth of smartphone gaming. They will hopefully enable gaming operators and platforms to change and improve the user experience on a massive scale.
What are AR and VR?
AR and VR are similar technologies in the sense that they both change the way we perceive and interact with our environment. However, they differ in terms of hardware requirements and the extent to which they change our environment.
AR can add objects, characters, sound or user interfaces to everyday environments, such as a living room or backyard. AR can help you visualize a dragon sitting on your sofa or a Pokémon emerging from a bush in the street.
VR, on the other hand, creates an almost entirely simulated virtual environment. It aims to immerse the user in a fully virtual world. The result is a unique experience, as the user feels completely disconnected from their real environment. While both VR and AR have become more widespread over the past few years, especially among players, they are still far from being accessible to everyone.
The use of AR and VR in online gambling
Virtual Reality gambling gives players access to a full 3D version of a casino. Inside, players can move around with a full 360-degree view of the facility. In this virtual casino, players can move from table to table, interact with dealers, get a drink, chat with other players, choose between the different games available and even light up a virtual cigarette during breaks.
As for Augmented Reality, its potential applications are twofold. Firstly, it can serve a very similar purpose to VR in that it aims to provide online players with an experience similar to that of playing in a land-based casino. It could also do things like displaying a live dealer in your room, providing you with additional features, games, statistics and so on.
Secondly, AR technology can be used in land-based gambling venues to provide players with information on the latest jackpots won, bonuses and promotions, slot win data and so on. However, as AR software in casinos is still in the development stage, all these possible uses are still only speculative.
Drawbacks of AR and VR
Both technologies require expensive special headsets, making them difficult to use. Secondly, there are certainly not many AR or VR handsets currently available for large-scale testing. Most of the publicly available options are for entertainment use only and are not yet fully developed. There is no doubt that investors, operators and players alike are keen to develop new services.