There are exciting times. If you ignore the chaos of 2020 and the uncertainty it has brought (although, admittedly, it’s hard to ignore) we’re living in a technologically advanced age, and we’re seeing rapid advancements in multiple fields.
Gaming is a great example of this. For many, the most promising advancement concerns virtual reality technology and the possibilities that it creates. The technology is limited right now, with VR games either smaller and shorter than their next-gen counterparts, or severely limited with regards to motion capture and/or graphics, but its future is promising.
What many don’t realize, however, is that we already have an exciting technology sweeping the industry. We’ve seen it used effectively in mobile games and it’s currently being implemented into online casinos, promising a level of immersion the likes of which we’ve only seen in sci-fi films and video games.
That technology is augmented reality, also known as AR, and it has come a long way since the days of Pokémon Go.
What is AR?
Augmented reality (AR) is best described as an interactive real-world experience. One of the best examples of this technology was Pokémon Go, a game launched in 2016. Players could search the world in real time, pointing their mobile device at the floor and seeing a colourful creature appear on the screen. From there, they could interact with this creature, capture it, and build their collection.
It existed entirely in the virtual world, but through the use of the player’s mobile smartphone camera, it looked like it was appearing in the real world.
The Evolution of Live Dealer Gamers
Live Dealer games are one of the biggest things in the gambling sector right now. These games are played on a real table and controlled by a real dealer. They are then streamed directly to a player’s device, allowing them to bet on every spin of the wheel and every hand of cards.
In many ways, they are an evolution of those late-night TV shows, where a peppy presenter spins a wheel and players phone in to place their bets. The difference is, you’re not watching while bleary-eyed and half-drunk, and you’re not relying on phone calls, texts, and other dated methods. You can simply rely on your mobile smartphone for all of your casino’s needs.
Take Blackjack as an example. When a Liver Dealer draws the cards, they are passed over a sensor. Like the sensor at the supermarket till, it reads a code on the card and records this, before feeding the data into the system.
As a result, it knows exactly who has what and it also knows who has won. When the hand is over, the system will allocate the funds accordingly, giving winning players their deserved chips. It’s a seamless integration, and one that makes for a thoroughly enjoyable experience that has taken the industry by storm.
The problem is, it’s not quite full immersion. The player is still focused entirely on their screens. They’re not at a table. They don’t feel like they are “there”, and that’s something that AR is set to change.
What Can AR Casinos Bring to the Table?
A Live Casino can connect you to a real casino, but AR can make you feel that you’re actually there. Imagine sitting at your dining room table, hovering your phone over the surface, and seeing a Blackjack hand appear on the screen. As you lift the phone and point it at the empty chair opposite, you see the dealer and watch them as they deal the cards and wait for you to make your move.
This is what AR technology can do for the online casino industry. Of course, there’s still some work to be done before this technology becomes as common as Live Dealer games, but we have the means already. AR tech is very advanced right now and casinos also have the studios, equipment, and dealers needed to stream high-quality games.
For this technology to be embraced, it needs to be adapted by a provider like Evolution Gaming, an iGaming creator that dominates the Live Dealer sector and whose games are available on hundreds of online casinos. They have not made the leap just yet but following the surge of activity seen in 2020 and the increased demand that this triggered, we may have seen first stirrings of change.
Whatever happens, it’s fair to say that the future is bright and exciting for online casino fans.