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Innovations in the Field of VR Gambling and its Current Status Against the Background of a Rapidly Growing Industry

1. The Microgaming Provider ― a Pioneer in the Field of VR Technology

2. How Other Software Vendors are Using Virtual Reality?

3. How VR Gaming is Used in Casinos

4. The First VR Casino and a Poker Room

5. The Use of Virtual Reality in Other Sectors

6. The Capacity of VR Gaming

All achievements in the VR technology sector for recent years are stunning. Probably, today, there is no such industry where people would not use this new technology (and the casino field is not an exception) but the tough call remains ― what place it will take in the gambling world?

VR technology in online gambling

The essence of gambling lies in the emotional and physiological experiences of users. In land-based casinos, it is the thrill that gamblers can get, for example, from blackjack or card and board games.

Today, VR can easily reproduce these impressions thanks to sensory stimulants. This is how players can (exactly as they can do it in real life) enter the gambling hall and hear the greeting of an administrator. It can propel the physical gaming experience to a whole new level. Not surprisingly, last year, VR devices have become probably the most popular wearable gadgets, and so it will be in the next few years because they open up new horizons for gambling.

The Microgaming Provider ― a Pioneer in the Field of VR Technology

The latest achievements in the field of VR games were demonstrated at ICE Totally Gaming, the main European gambling exhibition in February of the previous year, and the products presented on the stands showed how powerful VR gaming can be. Microgaming has proven its leadership and has received numerous awards for the presented VR roulette.

This company is sure that the VR trend is here to stay, and the developers are already creating fascinating games that can significantly change the very concept of casino games at the earliest juncture.

Neil White, who is responsible for product development at Microgaming, commented:

“Our company has made a mobile revolution in the gambling world, and we will do the same with the VR technology”.

Also, he reported that the company is doing research related to the augmented reality, which may contribute to its use for marketing mixes and promos. Mr White also stated:

“We have developed our VR products to see the potential of the 3D technology, and for this, we took Oculus Rift and Leap Motion equipment and created a unique environment where gamblers can play roulette”.

An engineer who works in the Microgaming's CRYO laboratory noted:

“In the intervening years, we have seen many new technologies. We observed the activity of several leading brands like Google, Microsoft, and others to understand how they use these innovations, and it is very pleasant for us that we all are heading to the same target point”.

Microgaming has not yet fixed the exact date of the release of its VR roulette but it will probably be available to the general audience later this year.

How Other Software Vendors are Using Virtual Reality?

True, Microgaming was a pioneer in the field of VR gambling but there are now other companies that are also interested in using this innovation.

Lucky VR creates exciting VR game content, transforming traditional casino games into attractive VR applications for users. At ICE 2016, the company has introduced a blackjack demo version with voice recognition, which was displayed via the Oculus Rift DK2 headset. The company also stated that it is currently developing VR slots.

Topgame Technology has become another brand that uses VR technology and has presented its VR slots on ICE. Those players who were lucky enough to test these products at the event were delighted with all sorts of bonuses and visual effects that cannot be found on standard 2D screens.

Speaking about companies related to this sphere, it is impossible not to mention NetEnt, which invited players who visited ICE 2016 to plunge into the “Jack and the Beanstalk” game and explore the virtual world.

NetEnt has been a market leader for already twenty years. Taking into account the continued growth of this company, we are expecting that its innovative products will be something that is worth seeing.

How VR Gaming is Used in Casinos

The Oculus VR technology company has been developing a VR casino for a long time. With its Oculus Rift headset, gamblers can escape the reality, wearing special glasses, which allow them to see and move around the virtual environment holding the game controller in their hands. They can enter a gambling club, which looks just as land-based locations, pass through the gambling hall, sit down to the table, and start playing.

Oculus Rift headset

Since VR casinos are still being developed, games for them still need to pass more tests and updates. However, GTECH's Sphinx 3D has already developed a 3D screen without glass and a wheel, which users can launch by a simple movement of the head. Google Glass is also creating such a function, with the help of which it will be possible to play for real money.

Google Glass in online gambling

Oculus VR was acquired for two billion dollars by the Facebook brand five years ago, after which large sums were invested in the creation of the Oculus Rift headset to make it more popular with online players. Very soon, users will be able to interact with each other and with live dealers, exactly as it would be in real life.

The First VR Casino and a Poker Room

SlotsMillion is a VR gambling club, which appeared before all the others, and its lobby is located on the eightieth floor of a skyscraper, standing against the background of the futuristic panorama of the city.

Users are offered to visit the bar, play exciting 3D slots, communicate with other people, and feel the swimming of the head if they lean against the window and look down.

All solutions that can be found in traditional casinos can be found here as well. The only difference is that they can be played using the Oculus Rift headset.

Among the new developments in this area is also an application for playing VR poker that was developed in consort with OBXNet and Marco Kobelt. There are no analogues to this application since it allows users to experience a full-featured, multiplayer gambling experience with its exciting visualisation in virtual reality. When using the necessary equipment, gamblers will become avatars that can interact with each other, tracking the movements of partners. The Gear VR app is currently available and compatible with the Oculus Rift. It also gradually enters the mobile arena thanks to the SideloadVR application, by using which players can download and share the content without entering the Oculus Store.

The Use of Virtual Reality in Other Sectors

Achievements in the VR gambling field made it possible for people to climb the Mount Everest, swim with the whales, go down into the water to explore the remains of ships after the wreckage, and even take part in horse racing ― and they could actually see all this on the screen. The VR technology is constantly developing so we can expect further incredible opportunities that it can offer.

As we have already mentioned above, Facebook recently invested billions of dollars in the purchase of the Oculus VR, and the developers are working hard to create a unique experience when people can teleport from one virtual place to another. Among other innovations in the field of virtual reality, which everyone is looking forward to, we can name an opportunity to visit different parts of the globe and look at places and things that users could never see in real life.

Such innovation as digital gaming that requires the use of skills is also very important for the VR gambling industry. This kind of games has great potential. Just think of a bonus round where players have to shoot as many zombies as possible, and it will bring them good prizes! That would be the perfect combination of skills and luck. The Maltese regulator is also considering the implementation of special laws for such games, which may definitely become very popular and profitable products.

The Capacity of VR Gaming

Virtual reality strengthens experiences, immersing players in a completely new world where they can feel very different emotions and all thanks to the stunning graphics and 3D binaural audio. The adrenaline buzz that takes place when you are playing video slots until the reels stop can be unnoticeably increased by changing the lighting, sound effects, and the atmosphere ― all this is possible with VR technology. Players just need to have a special headset and a keyboard or controller to be transferred from one reality to another.

Screens with biofeedback monitor functions of the body with sensors to improve the gaming experience of users. The developers use this technology because it allows them, for example, to sense the player's fear and adjust the game accordingly. If we are talking about online gambling, gamblers also need real experience, which means that for this, they need to respond to what surrounds them. And here, biofeedback also comes into play. The first game where it was applied was Nevermind, and it could detect changes in the player’s physical state and then adapt to them. This technology is still at the initial stage of development but it already gives programmers every opportunity for its further update. Anytime soon, we can expect the release of more games, in which this technology will be used.

The potential for upward movement for VR casinos seem endless but the chances for virtual gambling to become mainstream in a short span of time are rather low. It is more likely that this niche will be small for a few more years ― it can also be a niche that will never reach its potential. Regardless of which developments new technologies will bring us, the future of online casinos with virtual reality will not necessarily be promising.

Posted by

Andrew Price

2WinPower Partner, owner of the gambling establishments network.

25/01/2017

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