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Technological Innovation has become increasingly rapid. And the gaming industry is proving to be significantly rapid at adapting and setting new trends. We’ve seen shifts in the approach to casino gaming come fast and huge. In just a few years, we’ve gone from playing at land-based casinos to PCs, and then onto handheld portable devices. New dynamism in play style can be seen side-by-side with the development of new tech trends such as VR. So, with the increasing rise to popularity of smartwatches such as the Apple Watch, a simple question begs to be asked – is this going to be the next platform of choice for gaming? In this article, we take a look at the potential this device offers and what is the likelihood it lands a prominent place in the hearts, minds, and, well, on the wrists of online casino players and the industry in general.
The online casino industry is always all eyes and ears for the latest tech development. We’ve seen its attention turned towards smartphones. This quickly grew from an additional playing option for most casinos into what is now the market-leading platform. In 2017, online casino gaming marked itself as one of the most popular activities on smartphones and tablets.
Then, Virtual Reality surfaced, with the introduction of VR tech such as the Oculus Rift Goggles. NetEnt is one of the game providers whose front of the line to embrace this technology, what with its soon-to-be-released Gonzo’s Quest VR. As for online casinos embracing the VR factor, SlotsMillion is one of those most heavily invested. It has an entire chapter on its page dedicated to VR.
So, what’s next in terms of the latest tech to become a popular platform for slots? The answer might be smartwatches. This new form of wearable smart tech has been gaining significant traction since the release of market-leading models such as the Apple Watch. It’s predicted that by the end of the year, the smartwatch market will be worth over €4 billion.
While we attempt to wrap our heads around the idea of wrapping video slots around our wrists, there certainly will be quite a few questions and concerns about the viability of such a platform transition. Isn’t the screen too tiny? Can the smartwatch’s inner workings handle the deceptively complex game mechanics of current-gen online slots? Will there be enough smartwatch owners who are also online casino players? How will all the game features such as bonuses and pay outs be handled? It’s hard to answer these questions at this point in time. We can but make a few assumptions, though, by looking at what’s already on offer at the moment.
Players who want to use their smartwatch to spin the reels are not spoilt for choice just yet. None of the online casinos that can win you real money have taken the leap of faith, it seems. However, play-for-fun slot apps have already been developed for the smartwatch. One of the most prominent ones, whose release roughly coincided with that of the Apple Watch in 2015 is Slots Time! This one allows you to choose between different themes for the slots. And each one has its own bonus game such as pick ‘n click-styled games.
Other available options include Watch Slots that’s a miniaturised version of the classic 3×3 fruit machine for all you nostalgia junkies. Another similar, and slightly more enhanced take on the classic fruit machine is called Double Luck Nudge. Neither one offers any bonus games like Slots Time! Does, but Double Luck Nudge gives you the chance to level up as you collect coins.
Currently, all slot-type games on smartwatches are apps developed by specialised developers. None of the online casinos has taken the plunge. However, as already stated, there is little doubt online casinos will be watching how quickly and expansively smartwatches will gain the general public’s fancy, especially that of online casino players.
Also, since nowadays the interaction between companies and customers has been bridged by technology itself, this has allowed for players to voice their opinions in forums, surveys, and the like, as to what kind of trends they want to see the industry follow. Players speak, and when an idea is univocally expressed by many different players, many companies are starting to listen more.
What’s more, the smartwatch, if used in conjunction with already prevalent smart devices such as phones and tablets, allows for a wealth of possibilities of special features game providers could come up with to increase originality and excitement.
Whether online casinos and game developers will eventually cross over to smartwatches and consider it as another mainstream platform for gaming is still to be seen. Either way, there is little doubt that the proliferation of smart devices allowing for almost anything imaginable to be done on the go is showing us how pervasive technology has become in our everyday lives. It is with us almost anytime and anywhere as we are even more “connected” than before. So, we will always have our attention turned towards these new tech trends and how the gaming industry will ride the wave as it continues to peak.