Online gaming and the ‘internet of everything’
As technology becomes a more dominant force in our daily digital lives, we are no longer the masters but the slaves to technology. It’s demanding and intrusive and replaces conversations with constant interruptions of irritating message bleeps as the smartphone and now smartwatches burst into activity. Welcome to the ‘internet of everything’. Craig Wolstencroft, Managing Director of leading marketing and communications agency MM&C Jersey, gives his expert view on how this will impact online gaming.
The internet of everything – or IoE for short – means a string of devices and apps that allows us to monitor every aspect of our lives. In some ways it is similar to the human nervous system whereby just about any object can be connected and can communicate not just with ourselves but with other surrounding objects in one vast information network. At the centre is the smartphone which acts as the ‘brain’. All of this, of course, is to make mundane tasks easier and simpler for us mere mortals. Therefore, in reality, your phone has become the primary brain, not the secondary one.
IoE devices are everywhere, such as wearable tech like Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and Apple’s iWatch. Then there are a growing number of health and fitness gadgets such as, LG Lifeband Touch, Fitbit or Nike’s Fuelband which contain sensors that monitor the wearer’s heart rate, speed, muscle contractions to ultimately improve your performance or monitor progress towards fitness goals. It’s a booming market and these devices are hugely popular with consumers.
So with the fanfare and gold rush to develop apps for the iWatch, what could an IoE experience bring to online gaming? It’s fair to say gaming is ephemeral and the release of endorphins by the brain to the highs and lows of the game play lasts for a fleeting moment. Hence the operators desire to continuously push more options to gamble. I believe that in some ways an IoE enabled world could extend the players’ gaming interaction through these everyday devices.
However, consider an IoE scenario that could apply to poker, roulette and baccarat. You could have poker style health wearable bracelets that provide ‘tells’ as to the player’s hand and this could be an interesting augmentation to the gaming experience – especially if every player wise was on a level playing field wearing one during a live televised poker event. Imagine a device with sensors similar to how a heart monitor works (perhaps it could be called a Pokonitor!) which transmits fluctuations in heart rate, perspiration levels, live on the TV screen, your smartphone app or watch or any other display in which you wish to display this information.
On the sporting front, many athletes already wear performance monitoring bracelets. What if this data – either historical data or date being generated during the event – was broadcast live in real-time and could be translated into predictive betting information? For example, it could inform you that the completed pass rating for the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback increased or decreased when his heart rate reached a certain level. Or the amount of fast twitch muscle fibres engaged in his throwing arm could have an outcome on your win rate on those Vegas betting lines. Powerful information, right! I believe that the lines will blur in terms of how we connect to the internet via various devices, and that at some point those self-same previously innocuous devices will provide another layer of fulfilment to the gambling experience that we haven’t even dreamed of yet.