It’s always fascinating to wonder about the future and how it will affect our lives. The real challenge for the next generation of the iGaming industry is not to implement innovation for the sake of it but to use technological advancements to add a new dimension to traditional online casinos.
The online casinos we use today are far removed from land-based casinos that we were used to even 20 years ago, but what about the next generation?
Leading European iGaming brands such as Unibet already offer live-streamed casino table games, spanning traditional blackjack to Wheel of Fortune-style games such as Money Wheel. In the past, the mere thought of being able to sit in the comfort of your own home and watch a human dealer in another town or city deal your blackjack cards or place your bets on the roulette table would have been enough to blow your mind. Today, online casinos use optical character recognition (OCR) technology to implement screen overlays that provide you with all the information you need to place your next bet, such as checking out the last time your lucky number came in on the roulette wheel. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come.
Society is fast beginning to embrace the world of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to enhance everything from educational tools to video games. In the iGaming world, immersive gaming is the buzz word of the moment and VR and AR offer a chance to create user experiences that are as engaging as stepping into a land-based casino floor.
As time passes, ardent video slots gamers are going to need more than the game itself to remain entertained. Instead, VR will enable gamers to be part of the game. In fact, iGaming software developers NetEnt will release Gonzo’s Quest VR later this year, becoming the first real-money slot in virtual reality. When a player dons a pair of 3D glasses, such as Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR headsets, the entire gaming world is rendered in 3D, allowing players to explore their surroundings within the slot game.
That 360-degree experience will soon see players able to walk around a virtual casino floor. They’ll be able to acknowledge and speak to fellow players in the virtual casino and interact with real-life dealers without having to move a muscle. This new world of iGaming could indeed take the industry to a whole new level.