Phone Hologram
Image: Phone Hologram

As smartphones have become more capable we’ve seen mobile gaming grow more sophisticated. Most of this progression has been gradual, rather than marked by specific changes. Yet the advancement over time is undeniable. Smartphone games can now be sprawling, complex, wildly inventive, and as beautiful as the highest quality console titles.

More recently, we have seen a more tangible shift in the quality and capabilities of mobile games. That’s because of the emergence of virtual reality, and headsets that use our phones as screens for VR. It’s the first entirely new way of using phones for video gaming since the introduction of apps, and it should lead to some amazing new experiences.

As we get used to smartphone-driven VR gaming, it’s worth noting that we may not have to wait too long for new changes in how we use our devices for entertainment. The truth is that mobile phones in the near future will almost certainly embrace some exciting new formats. Here are a developments that we’re already anticipating.

Augmented Reality (With & Without Glasses)

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A lot of the focus is already on VR, and with Google and Samsung supporting VR gaming for their top smartphones, many assume Apple will follow suit. Not typically one to follow, Apple appears to be working on its own vision of what’s next in interactive technology. Some analysts are saying Apple’s work on augmented reality will cause a paradigm shift in computing technology. The rumor is that for the next few years Apple will work on building AR experiences into its phone and camera, before adding a pair of AR-enhanced glasses. These are not specifically gaming-related developments, but it’s easy to see the implications for mobile gaming. Imagine a more experiences in the vein of Pokémon GO, in which games interact with the real, surrounding world, and you’re probably getting the idea.

The Merging Of Video Chat & Gaming

This is a trend that’s begun somewhat quietly in online casinos and their mobile platforms. It’s been noted that a lot of the major casino gaming sites have made their way to phones and tablets, becoming accessible to anyone, anywhere, and they’ve brought live dealer gaming with them. This is a style of play where players can watch video feeds showing them actual casino environments with real-life dealers running the show. Not every sort of gaming could work in the same way, but the seamless merger of video chat and gaming has to be intriguing to a lot of developers.

Hologram-Based Gaming

Holograms on smartphones might seem like something out of Star Trek, but in reality they’re not that far away. We’ve already seen designs for a flexible holographic smartphone, and while it looks a bit crude, it still seems pretty fun. It’s a strong bet that as gaming becomes more interactive, and our phones’ displays become more sophisticated, someone is going to break through with some holographic entertainment sooner rather than later.