How Wearable Tech Will Change The IGaming Industry
Published on 07/03/17
Bracelets that can track and record movement and ear buds that monitor heart rate are just a couple of the innovations in the wearable tech world that could be set to revolutionise the iGaming industry. Experts are predicting that, as they become more and more accurate at recording biometric data, wearable devices will be capable of doubling up as controllers. Wearables are already big business, used regularly in industries such as medical and fitness. And by 2020, the wearable technology industry – which includes accessories such as clothing, gloves, headsets, ear buds and shoes – could be worth as much as $1 billion (Frost & Sullivan, 2016) worldwide.
The key to wearable technology becoming even more mainstream in other industries lies in its performance. As wearables like wrist bands and heart rate monitors become more and more accurate, they are likely to have an increasing number of uses – including in gaming. In fact, many wearable devices are becoming so advanced they are likely to be able to modify your performance when playing video games and when taking part in online gaming. In short, wearables are set to become an integral part of the online betting and virtual reality gaming experiences over the next few years.
Taking Sports Betting To A New Level
For sports gaming, these developments in wearable tech could change the experience we have become used to today. We could start to see iGaming becoming more of an immersive experience, for starters. Imagine if we could use wearable devices like virtual reality headsets to transport ourselves virtually to live games. Betting on a game of football, for example, could become an altogether more three dimensional experience. For those that like to place various bets throughout a game, reacting to the flow of the play, you could soon be able to experience the game as though you were there in person – therefore potentially making better decisions.
It is not only the gamer that could use wearables in sports betting; players too could soon be wearing technology during games – and betting companies could gain access to their biometric data. This could lead to a much more intimate betting experience. Imagine if you were able to bet on a football player’s body responses to the game – we could soon be betting on Ronaldo’s average heart rate throughout a full game, for example, or Messi’s heart rate when he scores a goal.
A More Physical Experience
With an enhanced capability of wearable tech comes the possibility of a more physical online gaming experience. Gone will be the days of simply sitting in front of a computer pressing buttons when we want to place a bet. We are likely to see an increasing number of new betting games that involve a degree of physicality. Virtual reality and augmented reality are already opening up a new world in terms of interactive video gaming – take Pokemon Go for example. Games where players compete through VR devices for cash are without a doubt just around the corner.
Aiding Responsible Gaming
Another way we could see wearables impact sports betting is in terms of implementing responsible gaming, or as a way of learning how to respond to our bodies during the experience of gaming. According to US-based wearables company Valencell, wearable devices are becoming increasingly accurate at recording data like heart rate – and even blood pressure. These devices are recording biometric data at medical levels. The technology company reckons we could see this applied to immersive gaming – even biometric gaming – whereby a player’s biometric response directly impacts their game. For those that are regularly taking part in sports betting, we could see devices that are introduced to help us understand our bodies’ response to online gaming. For example, if our heart rates are reaching unhealthy levels while gaming, it could be a sign to slow down, or to bet smaller amounts of money. Understanding our bodies’ responses could help us to participate in responsible gaming.
Controlling Gameplay Through Biometric Responses
One company that is leading the field in terms of biometric gaming is Ubisoft. The French technology company recently released O.zen, a heart monitor that can be worn on the wrist and plugged into an Apple smart device. This wearable device monitors a person’s heart rate, which then controls the game play within the ten games it makes available through its app. Biometric gaming is still in its early stages, but as it starts to gain traction, we could see the introduction of betting options that are controlled through heart rate and other body responses. Other examples of biometric gaming could be during action games that require the user to hold their breath while their playing character is going through underwater stages. Another example could be using heart rate to affect accuracy in a shooting game. Or as a test of keeping cool and controlled during an espionage game.
2017 is sure to be an exciting year in the world of wearable tech – and could well be the year we see it truly start to merge with the iGaming industry.