30 Oct

Microgaming develops ‘Micro Gaming’ for Smartwatches, but are Consumers Ready?

Apple WatchIn the last two decades, the gambling industry has gone from Las Vegas Strip to mainstream interactive. The proliferation of the world wide web gave us online casinos. Handheld technology gave birth to the mobile gaming age. Now, the recent introduction of high-quality wearable technology and smartwatches has driven developers to pursue miniature gaming apps, but is the public ready for such diminutive gambling?

When the online casino realm was first emerging in the mid 1990’s, Microgaming was right there, spearheading the movement. Established in 1994, the software giant was the first to penetrate the world of iGaming, and to this day, is the developer of the largest collection of internet-based slot machines, table games, video poker games and other interactive gambling amusements.

Microgaming paved the way for mobile gaming in the early 2000’s, developing the very first downloadable gambling content for WAP-reliant devices. However, the brand’s pioneering technology wasn’t appreciated by consumers who found that technology just wasn’t ready for Microgaming’s evolution, having developed games that were essentially ahead of their time.

It wasn’t until the late 2000’s, when touch-screen smartphones, and even tablets, went viral throughout the modern world, that mobile casinos became truly popular among iGaming enthusiasts. In the last two years or so, mobile gambling has become so prevalent that analysts predict traditional, computer-based gaming to take a backseat to its mobile cousin in the very near future.

As always, technology has continued to progress, with the latest craze being wearable technology. Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC, they’ve all delved into the fabrication of wearable devices, with one of the ‘latest and greatest’ developments being the Apple Watch. And of course, Microgaming was right there to deliver the first casino gaming apps for the recently launched wearable.

But has Microgaming overstepped the limits of what consumers really want? Realistically speaking, the smaller technology gets, the less consumers may wish to use it for wagering purposes.

The Apple Watch screen, available in 1.5in and 1.7in varieties, doesn’t make for a very appealing display when it comes to something as traditionally graphical as 5-reel slot machines. The watch only supports so many functions, and space for touch-screen buttons is obviously limited.

Then again, everyone scoffed when Microgaming’s initial mobile casino games failed to impress the public over a decade ago. It would stand to reason that smartwatch casinos could be yet another wave of the future. But in the same token, there will have to be more technological advancements in smartwatch technology before the masses give up gaming on their handhelds to play on a diminutive wrist-bound screen.

For the moment, outside of a few basic ingenuities, the Apple Watch is designed to work in tandem with an iPhone. The majority of its revolutionary functions require a handheld device. Answering phone calls from the smartwatch, for example, requires an actual phone connected via Bluetooth. Most of its laudable features work the same way.

For me, at least, if I’m going to have a smartphone on my person, I don’t see any reason to squint at a miniature slot machine when I could whip out my iPhone and have access to more games, better graphics and a lot more functionality.