Video game development over the past few years has undoubtedly leaned towards specific interests. Superior experience in visuals and gameplay are at the top of that list. But so is realism, bringing gaming and real life closer together. Live streaming and augmented reality are key technologies pushing the boundaries of realistic entertainment, as well as digital business solutions. The latest major title to join the effort is Minecraft Earth, released in October 2019 and already making a positive impact on the gaming community.
AR Mobile Gaming
Just like the mobile VR games that have come before it, players of the new world-building game can search for resources in their actual environment to create anything, from buildings to animals. Go on adventures in your neighbourhood – now embellished with even more extensive Minecraft features, collaborate with friends, and share your masterpieces with a huge network of creative gamers. The power of augmented reality can make the real world your Minecraft playground, with unlockable perks that the title’s typical platforms do not offer.
Simulation video games are a common favourite on mobile devices. This is because most require a much simpler pace compared to other genres. For example, Farming Simulator brings agriculture to iOS and Android and is greatly appreciated for it. What you get for $4.99 is the full farming experience minus the physical labour. Buy machinery, harvest produce, feed the animals, and invite your friends to help. This is a game that merges reality with gaming in a different but just as effective way, casually educating players in the process.
In terms of video games, live streaming has also enhanced gamers’ experiences. The eSports industry would not be the same without its supporters, their numbers growing with every broadcast from gamers and tournaments alike. Dota2ti is among Twitch’s most popular channels, its followers totalling at 656,850. Every one of its live gaming videos can thrill viewers no less than if they were watching a football match. It also demonstrates all over again just how skilled and successful professional gamers can be.
The same effect is created with the online casino industry. Entertainment in this sector has further changed the experience of tabletop card games, such as blackjack and roulette, by incorporating live streaming technology. A virtual variation of Deal or No Deal is even available, where players can enjoy the whole process of choosing boxes and dealing with the banker, while laying back at home. Actors, specially designed studios and the popular show’s familiar black dial phone and red boxes are used and live-streamed into your home. This innovation allows an even more direct interaction between gamers and services, further boosting the reputation of the burgeoning technology.
At this point, it is hardly surprising that technologies like live-streaming and augmented reality have taken their handiness to new and exciting levels. Tasks in oil rigs can take up to 90% less time to complete with zero errors to report – all this thanks to revolutionising AR solutions. They can work as assistants that point out flaws and risks, provide information, connect workers with each other and provide an overall safer and more efficient working environment. AR is also used for training programmes that are faster and accessible to multiple people.
The promise of greater convenience is making this technology more and more popular. Once AR glasses hit the market, smartphone users were among the first to try them out and give positive feedback, especially when compared to their mobile devices. The two most positive pieces of feedback were that users didn’t have to look down or hold a device in order to engage in an activity, as reported by Statista in a 2017 survey. This almost futuristic technology, saw the entertainment industry take a step into the unknown at the time, but its reception only encouraged more innovations to be made elsewhere in the industry.
Looking at live streaming, its professional applications are just as impressive. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), for example, has scattered hydrophones off the Californian coast to broadcast live audio of marine activity at depths of some 4,000 feet. Some of their files can be found on YouTube and, despite a 20-minute processing delay, the ultimate experience of catching a live feed of whales and dolphins communicating is unforgettable. It is this kind of experience that people tend to treasure and, whether professional, educational or for entertainment purposes, is a key goal in the development of live stream technology.
Shows like the Oscars and news channels like CNN also depend on the technology to deliver instant updates to viewers. The video game industry is currently buzzing with the new cloud services of Google Stadia, GeForce NOW, and other companies streaming video games to excited fans. Speed, convenience, efficiency, and stimulation are important to this market and that of AR.
Reality and the digital world are being merged to wonderful results. Their applications range from video games to business and science, aiming for a user experience that is practical, but also unique and eye-opening.