Since augmented reality first became widely available through smartphones in the fall of 2017, there’s been talk that gaming would drive the technology. This is not an unusual notion, and in fact it’s the same thing we’ve been hearing (and which has proven at least partially true) with regard to virtual reality for years. The thinking is simple: though there are far more important and interesting applications of AR than gaming, gaming is the most consumer-friendly of them all, and thus the one most likely to drive up excitement and generate revenue. That said, AR gaming is somewhat clumsy in its current form.
Right now, mobile AR gaming basically means you have to hold your phone up as a kind of eyepiece to gaze upon a virtual world. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t facilitate some very interesting games, but it is somewhat cumbersome, and more than a little inconvenient. Fortunately for those hoping to see the tech go further, there is a clear solution, and one that’s already in development from multiple high-end tech companies. AR glasses are on the way, and some believe they will soon be very popular accessories to pair with, or potentially even replace mobile phones.
Augmented reality glasses would effectively allow wearers to view the world as usual, but automatically visualize AR elements whenever desired – such as while playing a mobile AR game. And there are a few clear ways in which this can improve this particular mode of gaming.
One is through the simple facilitation of hands-free action gaming. Take for instance arcade shooters, which are always among the most popular games on any medium. There’s something sort of fun about holding your phone up and looking through the screen to shoot down AR bad guys, robots, or creatures invading your physical space. But it also severely limits the experience, whereas AR glasses would allow you to see more of your surroundings, as well as use your free hands to control virtual weaponry.
Another possibility is through casino gaming, which has become more popular than many realize online. Players can engage in live poker tournaments, spin slot reels with fun animated stories behind them, and find a wealth of information relating to bonuses, free gaming, etc. Because of its popularity, the casino genre is a strong candidate for migration into AR, which can effectively bring the games to life in front of you. As with action games though, using glasses will enhance the realism. Think of it this way: instead of looking through your phone and poking the image of a card to play it, you could look down at a table, see the card, and reach out to interact with it “by hand.”
In a very similar way, board games and tabletop strategy games can be positively impacted by wearable tech. In fact, this is so clear to people even in the early days of AR that there are already games being invented that use AR screens instead of phones in order to create a gaming environment. Through a phone screen, these kinds of games can appear as if they’re on real tabletops, and function more or less like neat, novel projections. Through a larger screen though – or through lenses fitted just in front of your eyes – the relevant game board would seem fully and firmly in place – far more like it would be if it were physically real.
You get the idea, and likely how it could apply to several more examples across gaming genres. Putting it as simply as possible, wearable tech makes AR more realistic and more convenient in a way that could legitimately lead to enough interest to catapult the technology to new heights.