One of the most significant events in the history of gaming has to be a smartphone. Even before phones became ‘smarter’ with pristine displays and app stores, prehistoric Nokias could support games like Snake in pixelated form. These embedded games doubled the number of people who play games regularly, expanding the gaming community. The arrival of smartphones exploded the quality and quantity of games that are available on mobile platforms. It took the global gaming population to over 2 billion people.
The burning question is: what happens next?
There have been many attempts in the past few years to build on the fact that mobile phones are ever-present but these attempts have not been very successful. The successful ones proved to be very expensive and did not appeal to the consumer market. The introduction of augmented reality features might be the reason why this is changing. It has more potential than any other digital tool. It can already point to Pokémon Go as a success story. Even though people have argued over the importance of AR in this game, it cannot be disputed that it changed the way we play games.
An important feature of AR is that it offers a native mobile experience. You do not necessarily have to buy anything new to experience an AR app or game on your phone. You also don’t have to interact with your smartphone in any other way than you usually do. However, most games or apps currently using augmented reality are limited. Many features influence the activity of AR including things like a well-lit room for AR features to display on the phone also flat surfaces for these features to appear.
Some of these challenges are enough to consider writing off the entire sector of AR tools and apps but it offers too many benefits if developed correctly. Unlike VR wearables, the problems could be attributed to inexperience on the part of the developers along with the limited technology. In the latter case, mobile phones will eventually have better processors with better low-light lenses. Other sensors might also help in the understanding of scene geometry. It will make AR’s ‘tabletop’ restriction as old-fashioned as black and white TV appears to us today.
Developers will also eventually understand the best ways of dealing with AR. Some interesting examples include the game CSR Racing 2 which can be played outside or inside. As far as devices are considered, it would seem like wearable glasses like Google Glass that are lightweight would be the best option to experience AR. In a more general sense, it would be interesting to see how far technology can stretch also in what other sectors it will be used. At the moment we are only used to it as part of the entertainment industry but it might just assist in assisting with personal needs as well. It might just be on your prescription from your healthcare provider when you have your eyes tested again.
April 2, 2018