It may seem like an obvious title, and it is not much of a bold statement to say online entertainment is set to only get better. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the fact that technology is improving and so it goes without saying that online entertainment is also going to get better. I mean the two go hand in hand, but the reason we wrote this title is that we want to explore why online entertainment has become so good, and to look at what we can expect in the future.
Before we go back into the past, let’s quickly delve into the future. The future is hopefully virtual reality (VR). In the past I could only dream of a mobile phone with touchscreen tech – I mean it seemed impossible and just a fantasy, but today it is a reality. Therefore, there is no reason why virtual reality will not eventually come online. There is actually a pretty cool blog about virtual reality gaming I read, and it made me realize that it has already been around for quite some time.
How Were Smartphones Invented?
Now I am already in my forties, so to most youngsters reading this I am a dinosaur. When I was in my teens the internet had only just been released, and I had no idea what it was, but I was hearing a lot about it. Now the internet was available to us before mobile phones were commonplace. The dream of having a phone or touchpad you could just press is actually a reality for me now, and it has been for a long time.
Smartphones came into reality because of nanotechnology. This was mostly being developed by NASA, and so the concept of nanotech would then trickle down to commercial businesses that could now get their hands on this type of technology. Touchscreen technology was already around and being used heavily by Nasa. The microchips behind the smartphone derive from the Apollo space mission in which NASA hired Texas Instruments. There is a really cool article about how space tech contributed to our lives.
Of course, once this technology was available to be sold commercially, more nanotech companies would be involved in its development, and now we have the trusty smartphone microchips powering our phones as well as the touchscreen technology that means we don’t need a keyboard or mouse to tell the software we see on our screens what to do.
In the future, we can only expect this technology to improve. I mean it can’t get much smaller because that has already been tried and tested. We now have smartwatches for a start, but people seem to prefer a large screen, so the phones themselves do not need to get any smaller.
How Did The Internet Change With Technology?
Now the internet or the World Wide Web was around before mobile phones were commonplace. Yes, you read that correctly! The internet was available before mobile phones were on the market.
It wasn’t the internet as we all know it today either. It was slightly thin on websites at the time and loading a web page took an age. Online gaming back then was pretty basic too. You could get a 2 player game of Pac Man going or play battleships or cards, but it was all pretty basic stuff because the internet connections did not have enough bandwidth to cope with some of the games we can play online today.
I guess this is the first example of how the internet became the World Wide Web and online gaming became a phenomenon.
It was the fact that fibre optics became commercially available that meant the internet could handle higher volumes of traffic travelling from router to router. Also, computers are able to process more data, and of course this meant the data centers responsible for handling our internet traffic have been able to handle, well, more data!
Why Is Virtual Reality Taking So Long To Become A Reality?
It seems that virtual reality has taken a little longer than the smartphone and the internet to develop. It seems to be a lot slower in terms of hitting milestones. I mean the internet became an overnight phenomenon and just grew very quickly indeed. Within 5 years of it being common knowledge, almost everyone had the internet at home. At first, it was something you could use at work, then it was in our homes, then on our mobile phones.
Mobile phones were equally as quick as the internet to develop into the smartphones they are today. It took no time at all it seems until we were all working around with mini computers in our hands. However, virtual reality just does not seem to be getting there. From the first green screened mobiles to smartphones there were less than 10 years since cellular devices were a must-have accessory.
The same does not ring true for virtual reality. We have seen the Samsung VR tech sure. There are plenty of fairground rides and virtual reality experiences available in theme parks and even shopping centers, which is very cool I might add. When Samsung brought out its VR experience with its smartphone tech, I thought hello – here we go. But nothing has really developed since.
Now we can easily compare this to arcade games. We have all seen arcade games like Aliens and Time Crisis in bowling halls and in-game entertainment areas of shopping centers and amusement parks. Now, these arcade machines were all we had in terms of gaming entertainment when I was a kid, so let’s say between 35 and 25 years ago. Arcade machines were in action for long before I was starting to play them between the age of 5 and 15 years old, (ok so I still play them from time to time).
It must have taken at least 25 years for the transition from arcade gaming to home computer gaming. It might have been more than this to be honest because I only remember growing up with arcade games, no internet, or mobile phone. Then if you speak with my dad, he grew up without cars, colour TV, saw the invention of commercial airlines, and no arcade machines!
Anyway, that is beside the point. The point is that virtual reality seems to be another arcade phenomenon in terms of its timing into the mainstream, and when I refer to the mainstream, I am talking about having this technology readily available to us in our homes, at work, on our smartphones as well as touchpads and over the internet via VR websites on the World Wide Web. It has just been very slow to happen, but it looks like it will happen very soon.
How Will Virtual Reality Become A The New Entertainment?
Well, it does seem like Samsung are about to crack the long wait for the first taste of virtual reality to hit our homes. A report about virtual reality by The Verge on 2nd June 2019 claims that Samsung has said it is ready to release a new line of virtual reality products. Could that mean the signs of virtual reality we saw in 2018 are a hint that virtual reality really is going to become a mainstream part of our entertainment? Well, I really hope so, and if the report by The Verge is accurate, which I am confident it is, then our world of entertainment as we know it is about to change forever.
Escape to the beach with VR
VR can be used for so many ways to escape. For example, we can whisk ourselves away to the beach. OK so early VR may not give us the touch and smell sensation. However, it doesn’t hurt escaping to the beach for 30 minutes by lying down on the sofa, switching on the beach view VR program, and lying down and with your earphones or surround sound on and getting as close as you can to the real thing as possible from your living room 200 miles away from the beach when it overcast and raining outside!
Watch a football match live with VR
Imagine being at the World Cup final for your favourite sport. Why not? VR producers will be able to attend football matches and with modern technology, they will be able to film the entire 360-degree view from every angle. It can then be pumped into a VR program and voila, you are there watching your team win the World Cup.
Visit Your Favourite Casino in Las Vegas
I personally have never been to Las Vegas and I love to play poker and blackjack games. Well VR could zoom me to a poker table in Las Vegas, and I would be there playing. Or I could at least sit there and watch. Right now the closest we have to this is something called live dealer suites that basically zoom you in on a roulette or blackjack table. You have a real life dealer, a betting interface, and you can play the game in front of you online.
With VR imagine how this will change the online casino industry. With all the money the online casino has, you can bet your bottom dollar this is one of the first places VR will be used in the iGaming industry.
Literally, Go Anywhere with VR
I mean that is just two examples for you there. You can let your imagination run wild with it if you like. Think of anything or anywhere you could go, and then zoom yourself there. That is what VR will do.
VR Will Be Part Of Our Lives Within The Next 10 Years
My prediction is that within the next 10 years, virtual reality will be a part of all of our lives, and boy how it will change us because when it does hit the mainstream market, all it is going to do is get better and better in the same way as the internet, smartphones, and other technology we use in our every day lives. It will be as addictive as out smartphones and online gaming are. It will change our lives for better or worse whether we like it or not.
All industries will change completely because of it too. The movie industry will find a way to use it, businesses will find ways to use VR to their advantage, banks, casinos, travel companies, estate agents, and gaming companies will all find a way to utilise VR in ways that once VR becomes an integral part of our way of life, we will not be able to imagine life without it, just as most of us could not possibly imagine life without smartphones or the internet.