Wearables such as earbuds and wristbands are soon likely to double up as control devices for fast-growing virtual reality gaming and video gaming industry, with technology becoming more precise at recording data. For virtual reality gaming, sensors are required for detecting whether the user is squatting or standing, and to control input. However, wearable devices, such as a ring, have the capability to execute same operations easily. Devices worn on hands, such as smartwatches, will soon be able to interact with the virtual reality gaming interfaces and track user movements. Smartwatches have the potential on the back of their rich user experiences and complex interactions.
Wearable Technology has Potential Application in Biometric Gaming & Immersive Virtual Reality Gaming
The potential has not been lost on the developers of video games as well, and some of them have commenced creating titles to leverage from the wearable technology. Wearable technology is on the verge of becoming an increasingly accurate mode of recording data including calories burned and heart rate. Technology such as this has potential application in the immersive virtual reality gaming as well as in biometric gaming, wherein the user’s gameplay is directly affected by his/her biometric response.
One of the pioneers in the biometric gaming industry, Ubisoft, a French gaming company, in the previous year introduced O.zen, which is a wearable device that monitors heart rate and can be plugged into the lightning port on an iPad or iPhone. O.zen measures the heart rate of users, which in turn controls and affects the gameplay for over ten mini-games that are available in the accompanying application. Biometric gaming is yet in its nascent stage, however, there are organizations who are experimenting and integrating with biometric sensors currently. For example – Valencell’s biometric sensors are being integrated into several wearable devices such as earbuds and wristbands developed by technology giants such as Sony, LG, and Jabra.
Virtual Reality Technology Must First Mature prior to Take-Off of Peripherals
With the evolution of the virtual reality hardware, more and more interesting functions will be included. In addition, increasing number of virtual reality gaming applications will require support from a large number of wearable accessories. According to a recently compiled report by Fact.MR, over US$ 5,000 Mn worth of wearable gaming accessories are forecast to be sold by 2026-end. Third party online channels will remain the most lucrative sales channels for wearable gaming accessories, however, sales in specialty stores will exhibit the fastest expansion through 2026. In addition, wearable controllers will continue to be the fast-expanding accessories in the global wearable gaming accessories market.
Other upcoming applications of wearable technology in the gaming industry may include action games. For example, games where users are required to hold their breath when character in the game is underwater. Another lucrative application might be for the heart rate of gamers to directly impact accuracy in shooting games. With the emergence of virtual reality along with its accessibility to earbuds, wearables might play a pivotal role in the gaming industry in the foreseeable future. However, it is believed that although wearables possess enormous potential in the integration of virtual reality control functionalities, the virtual reality technology must first mature prior to the take-off of the peripherals that are only considered as accessories to virtual reality.
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