The virtual world, otherwise known as the internet, has gradually become less and less virtual in recent years. Cast your minds back to what’s often described as the first internet revolution and the mid-nineties.
A decade after Sir Tim Berners-Lee theorised about a series of interlined hypertext documents and a “World Wide Web”, the internet as we know it today was a rather rudimentary selection of websites offering not much more than some text and images.
Fast-forward a few years and sites became more dynamic and the incorporation of animations and videos meant the internet started to become a much more virtual playground. Indeed, even after the advent of sites such as YouTube, MySpace and Twitter, the bulk of our time online was more a representation of real life than an extension of it.
From Passive Consumers to Active Participants
However, if we take stock of the internet as it stands today, things are a lot more interactive and a lot more realistic. In fact, if you really think about it, we’re in the midst of a reality revolution which starts with apps like Snapchat, takes into account live casino technology and ends with Oculus Rift and virtual reality.
If you’ve not used Snapchat before, the premise is simple: make a short video, send it out to your network of friends. Using the camera on your phone and the same social media software utilised by the likes of Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat is basically a way for us to visually and audibly interact with friends without actually being in the same room.
Taking . A live streaming app that turned your smartphone into a device capable of beaming your every move to the world in real-time, Periscope has taken the level of reality on the internet to a new level as we’re no longer watching a recap of the world, but a live broadcast as if we were there.
Going Live Means Going Interactive
This love for live streaming has also reared its head in the gaming world. Today if you you’ll be greeted by a real person. From as little as £0.10, it’s possible to join Auto Roulette games and watch an actual wheel spin or spend £1+ per round to join games overseen by one of the trained dealers.
Known technically as live dealer casino games, these tables fuse RFID chips (that beam signals to the operator’s software) and webcams to create a more realistic gaming environment. Instead of players having to compete against a random number generator (a computer algorithm), these games make gaming more realistic and, more importantly, entertaining.
The Quest for Realism
If you think about it, whatever we do, we always want more realism. Indeed, if we look at the computer gaming industry the quest for more realistic looking graphics is clear for all to see. The same is also true in every other facet of life and that’s why the above innovations have come to light in recent years. But wait, that’s not the end.
Thanks to companies like Oculus Rift, virtual reality is now the hot topic in the tech world and it’s something that’s going to dominate in the coming years. However, as we’ve shown, it’s simply the next logical step in the internet’s movement towards reality and it’s a step we should all be looking forward to taking.