Augmented reality (AR) is a technology which superimposes virtual images onto the real world environment and provides the user with a composite view. Virtual reality (VR) is a technology which creates an accessible virtual environment. With the help of sensors integrated in headset or gloves, user can view and interact with the environment in a seemingly real way. The notable companies in the augmented & virtual gaming industry are Niantic, Six To Start, Sony, Ubisoft, Valve and so on. Augmented and virtual reality are emerging technologies with lots of potential and so tech companies are beginning to see the possibilities of these technologies.
However, any emerging technology does not just enter the market without a few pitfalls. A significant threat to the widespread implementation of augmented and virtual reality games is the safety factor. VR games are usually played at home, although most AR games are not. AR games may occasionally occlude objects onto roads and in dangerous locations, and users who are immersed in the game are in danger of serious injuries. New games should be able to identify locations these augmented objects should not appear and map them accordingly.
Aside from the possibility of serious injuries, there is another crucial issue which companies have to come to terms with: use of huge headsets. People don’t like wearing huge headsets all the time. Headsets are the conduit for the games. Some people have reported of getting headaches and feeling nauseous after continuous exposure to virtual reality environments. Moreover, costs are currently considered too high for casual gamers. Contact lenses have been considered, although it is currently in the speculative stage, as there is no specific design. In time, with the rapid growth of technology, the size of headsets are expected to decrease.
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The use of AR and VR in gaming is driven by different factors despite the similarity in technology. AR does not require headsets and since majority of people already possess smartphones, they are free to test games in their surroundings. On the other hand, VR has gained popularity, particularly due to the use of headsets and gear, and feels more natural to gamers. For most gamers, their playing areas have always been closed environments and VR provides the same in a new unique way.
Gaming festivals or ESPORTS, take place in closed environment such as stadiums, will be one of the opportunities for market growth. In the last few years, competitive gaming has gained increasing popularity, with perks such as prize money and trophies. There is an increasing number of tournaments where people compete whether individually or as a team, to win the grand prize. These tournaments have further potential with the integration of augmented and virtual reality, although it may take a few more years for this to happen. AR & VR games may offer new modes of competition and people who wish to watch these tournaments but can’t attend, could gain virtual tours.
It seems that with the improving technology, there will be improvement in the augmented reality games. Headsets may become smaller in size, and if big players such as Apple, Google and Samsung manufacture them, there will be demand for the product, which will improve demand for the games.
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