With a significant boom in internet and mobile users, the online gaming industry is also set to move on an exponential growth trajectory. According to the stats – the global market size for online games is projected to grow from $37.65 billion in 2019 to $122.05 billion in 2025. On the other hand, the online gaming industry in India which was earlier valued at $543 million in 2016 has crossed $1.027 billion in 2020 at a CAGR of 18.6per cent. This growth is largely driven by the extensive use of new technologies and improvement in mobile infrastructure.
In 2022, many leading online gaming platforms are moving to Blockchain technology to evolve the gaming experience. Implementing the newly popular Play-to-Earn model, online games have evolved to offer the users more engaging experience with attractive economic returns. Further to disrupt the market, online gaming industry players are launching their metaverse projects to immerse the users into an alternate universe using the VR/AR technology.
What is Extended Reality (XR)?
Otherwise known as "XR" extended reality is a term used to define the concept of "extending" or transforming our reality with the use of technology.
In simple terms, it's how we build on the world we have with technology to create unique environments, experiences, and interactions. For businesses and consumers alike, XR represents a powerful opportunity.
Valued at $26.05 billion in 2020, the XR market is growing at an incredible rate. Experts believe XR will have a value of $463.7 billion by 2026, representing a CAGR of over 62.67%.
Though demand for extended reality has been gradually increasing for some time, the market saw a significant boost during 2020 and 2021. The pandemic (COVID-19) prompted accelerated interest in the creation of virtual experiences for retail, work, and collaboration.
Around 80% of business executives now say XR is essential to bridging the "physical distance" between employees.
Today, we're going to demystify the concept of XR once and for all, to help you understand where this amazing market is headed.
What is extended reality? XR Definition
Extended Reality is basically a tool for adding something to our existing reality. Think 3D content seen through your smartphone camera or smart glasses, or virtual worlds you can see via headsets.
Of course, it's only recently companies have begun to really unlock the potential of the XR landscape, thanks to the evolving technology we have access too. Advanced smartphones capable of tracking everything from eye movement to positioning are paving the way for "AR." Intelligent sensors and ultra-high-definition lenses are introducing us to new examples of "VR".
Companies are rapidly developing supporting technologies for XR platforms, ranging from high-performance hands-free headsets to AI-enabled tools for capturing information and translating it into extended reality environments.
The Three Types of Extended Reality
There are currently three forms of extended reality in the marketplace, each defined by the level of interaction between the virtual and real worlds. Let's take a closer look at each of these three environments.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented Reality is perhaps the best-known of the XR environments available today. Augmented Reality expands on the real world by implementing virtual information, objects, and data into the world around use. Virtual elements can feature everything from animations and images to text and video streams.
Lately, AR solutions have been growing at a much faster rate than other modes of extended reality, due to their accessibility. AR solutions are frequently implemented into smartphones, which most consumers have already.
This helps to generate quicker adoption of AR tech, because people don't need to purchase additional hardware to access AR.
One of the initial examples of AR most people are familiar with is "Pokémon Go," an app which allows users to hunt specific creatures and see them in the real world through their smartphone.
Today's apps can:
Deliver real-time guidance and information to professionals for better productivity
Offer hands-free assistance to staff through smart glasses with information streaming
Generate stronger communication and collaboration experiences
Boost retail interactions with "try before you buy" experiences for customers
Improve interactions between companies and consumers through immersive service, support, and even instruction manual experiences.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality, or "VR" replaces the real world almost entirely, by creating unique, interactive virtual spaces for users to step into. Unlike with AR, people using VR need specially-created hardware, including headsets (for seeing a virtual space) and sensors / controllers (for interacting with the space). Some devices also need a computer connection.
Virtual Reality first rose to fame in the entertainment industry, as a way to immerse gamers in unique experiences powered by their game consoles.
Today, virtual reality has grown to be a far more diverse technology with various use cases, particularly as the technology becomes more affordable.
Virtual reality can:
Assist with safely training employees in complex situations
Create virtual meeting rooms for collaboration between teams
Improve efficiency and productivity in product design processes
Enable the quick prototyping and discovery of new product ideas
Create unique consumer/brand experiences for major companies
Mixed Reality (MR)
Mixed Reality is where things start to get a little confusing for most people in the XR landscape. Initially, many people assumed "MR" was just an extension of augmented reality. Both technologies mix the real and virtual worlds, after all.
However, Mixed Reality is a little more complex than this. While augmented reality embeds digital content into the real world, mixed reality actually merges the two environments to produce new visualisations, opportunities, and interactions.
With mixed reality, you can have holographic meetings with colleagues, or interact with a digital twin of a product for quick innovation.
Mixed Reality is still in its early stages, but companies like Microsoft are introducing us to new possibilities all the time.
Mixed reality can:
Align teams across geographies using holograms
Create immersive product building and design experiences
Enhance training and development strategies
Offer real-time guidance and support to staff in dangerous situations
Change the way we interact with machinery in the modern world
What Can Extended Reality Do?
The potential of XR is only just starting to be discovered. Research suggests around 60% of people believe XR will be a "mainstream" environment in the next five years. The rise of XR is also paving the way for the discovery of new concepts, like the "metaverse".
Understanding Metaverse in Gaming
Metaverse is an ever-evolving 3D virtual space that is going to be the next-gen of gaming. It offers a relatively new type of virtual reality gaming experience where users can explore different realms of the digitized world through avatars and in-game characters. Many notions have been made around metaverse which is considered quite similar to the immersive experience of fantasy games. Both can bring people together from across the world and play the game. However, Metaverse is a new way to experience the evolution of gaming that provides avenues for users to grow and monetise their gaming skills and time invested.
Comprehensive gaming platforms are gaining a huge prominence in the industry. Based on Blockchain technology, gaming platforms offer gamers more than just a game. Gamers get not just a game, but additional value on these platforms such as integrated wallets, marketplaces to trade digital gaming assets and sometimes a collection of games under a single umbrella. It helps users navigate through a collection of multiple game applications with an integrated wallet and native token. Gaming platforms can boast a wide array of games including sports fantasy, casual mobile games, learning-based games, etc. It can create a crypto gaming economy by putting the gamers at the top of the hierarchy as beneficiaries and decision-makers using the power of blockchain decentralization.
The emergence of Play to earn model
Play to Earn models play a crucial role in Metaverse. As the world moves towards a digitized economy, the Play-to-Earn model in metaverse provides an opportunity to monetize the amount of time users spend in playing the game. Though this model is at a nascent stage, a few leading gaming applications/platforms are embedding to help players engage in profitable activities. The users can sell digitized assets won in the game via an integrated digital wallet. Further, this model is expected to drive the crypto and NFTs market.
NFTs in Metaverse games
The Play-to-Earn model embraces modern technology and provides financial benefits to all online gamers. This works by owning in-game digital assets – NFTs i.e. Non Fungible Tokens – the key component of metaverse economy. These digital assets can be tokenized on Blockchain platforms, which enable true ownership by gamers of in-game digital assets – providing an opportunity to users in getting economic rewards by trading these NFTs in the open market. NFTs in metaverse gaming works as a win-win for developers as well as players. In-game NFT trading can help users gain financial benefits and start earning a real source of income. Apart from this, new-gaming platforms based on Blockchain technology also allow the players to own NFTs with a small financial stake in the game's decision-making which further provides a sense of ownership to players with economic benefits.
Mixed reality gaming experience
Metaverse leverages Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to experience the realities of the virtual world. Similarly, metaverse in gaming incorporates mixed reality powered by AR and VR technologies. It embeds virtual objects into the real physical world through the use of headsets and devices. This helps users immerse themselves in the 3D virtual environment and change the way they interact with other players.
While the internet made the world a global village, metaverse in gaming is expected to bring together human beings to effectively learn, build, communicate and collaborate with each other in the virtual world. Metaverse in gaming is described as the new era of virtual games that will potentially have a significant contribution in opening different avenues of income.
What Are Digital Humans?
Digital human technology takes artificial intelligence (AI) applications to a whole new level. It purports that you can have 3D, almost photorealistic renditions of human beings in the virtual world that are indistinguishable from the real thing.
As business leaders and users, in general, become more comfortable with widespread application of AI, digital humans are no longer limited to a futuristic theory.
There are several companies making impressive progress with digital human development and recent conversations around the rise of the metaverse make digital humans more pertinent than ever before.
Let's explore what this technology means for XR users and how it could transform experiences in the virtual world.
Understanding What is a Digital Human
Digital humans can be defined as 3D virtual objects that look almost exactly like human beings and can replicate human traits such as physical movements, facial expressions, conversational to-and-fro, and the like.
It should be noted that digital humans may or may not reflect a real-world human being – i.e., there may or may not be a real person with the same name, physical appearance, and bodily characteristics.
They are independent 3-dimensional objects existing in virtual worlds, much like chatbots or voice bots that we are used to today.
Digital humans rely on a complex combination of technologies for their functionality. These include:
Artificial intelligence to process input and provide feedback
Natural language processing to understand voice commands
Advanced 3D modelling to replicate expressions of human emotion with precision
Natural language generation so that the digital human can respond via voice
This could be the next step in the evolution of automated virtual assistance as we know it. Instead of having a chatbot respond to our queries or a voice assistant fetching information from an online repository, digital humans provide a convenient and seamless support experience by presenting a human face.
Before we look at the myriad applications of this technology, let us consider another associated concept briefly.
Digital human vs. digital twin of human: what's the difference?
While digital humans and digital twins are based on similar technologies (i.e., recreating real-world objects and beings in the virtual world), they have some major differences. To begin with, digital humans may or may not have a real-world counterpart.
A digital twin of human, on the other hand, is necessarily based on the physical, biological, anatomical, and often psychological traits of a real person.
Digital twins will always react like real people when presented with an input scenario.
Also, the digital twin of human may or may not have a 3D photorealistic form. It may only be a set of data specifications that capture human movement, requirements, and thought processes without assigning to it an outer manifestation.
Potential Applications of Digital Human Technology
Digital humans have become increasingly popular and frequently discussed in the mainstream over the last three to five years.
As the fourth industrial revolution converges the physical world with the virtual or digital, it makes sense that users will seek lifelike experiences even when online.
This is exactly what digital human technology offers, with applications like:
Virtual assistants in the metaverse
This use case has already been deployed by several industry leaders, including Deloitte. Automated virtual support has always been slightly impersonal and not very delightful, if efficient.
Digital humans overlay a comforting "human" face on top of an automated frontend, making customers more likely to engage.
This has major implications for the metaverse where users are already interacting via avatars and so support should also be provided by a humanoid being.
Simulated tests in industrial and healthcare scenarios
This use case is typically addressed by digital twins, but digital humans also have the potential to help.
Consider scenarios where you have to check an office layout design for optimal occupancy during COVID – it is helpful to have multiple digital humans populate a virtual mock-up of the design to understand how a real-world scenario might play out.
More authentic NPCs for gameplay
By applying the principles of digital humans to non-playing characters (NPCs), it is possible to make gameplay more authentic, immersive, and engaging. The sophisticated AI algorithms powering the humanoid NPC would ensure that they provide believable reactions to in-game scenarios. Also, facial expressions, bodily movements, gestures, and other non-verbal cues could add another dimension to gameplay design.
Gameplay in India:
In India, Virtualinfocom has made realistic multi-dimensional characters in movies and games, using 3D technology to simulate celebrities like Jeet, Subhashree, Priyanka Sarkar, Mainak Banerjee, Arijit Dutta, Mukesh Khanna (As Shaktimaan), Bobby (Bangladesh), Ronojoy Bishnu and many more local actors and models, and implementing 360 degree photography.
The popularity and demand of their plethora of games based on movies, like Boss2, Nilangana, Bizli (Bangladesh's first superhero movie), Tushagni, etc., is just a small slice of what the digital humans can bring to the cinematic universe. With time, you might be able to have fully immersive experiences with your favourite role models and celebrities. Be prepared to be amazed and awed at the future, for it is going to bring the impossible to you.
has utilized 3D innovation to reproduce VIPs like Jeet, Subhashree, Priyanka Sarkar, Mainak Banerjee, Arijit Dutta, Mukesh Khanna (as Shaktimaan), Bobby (Bangladesh), Ronojoy Bishnu, and a lot more entertainers and team and displaying in films and computer games in India.
The achievement and interest for their assortment of film themed games, like Boss2, Nilanjana, Bizli (Bangladesh's first superhuman film), Tushagni, and others, is just a little example of what the computerized people can bring to the true to life domain. With enough practice, you might have the option to have really vivid experiences with your #1 stars and tutors. Individuals are astounded and awed by the predetermination, since it will convey you the inconceivable.
The rising tide of fame will permit gaming to turn out to be more standard alongside expanding incomes even in the more specialty, select circles like AR and VR gaming.
For a model, in Nilanjana, simulated intelligence assumed indispensable part in game play character development. Mainak as a person, looking for Nilanjana (As Priyanka) in the 3D stage, as a player Nilanjana is attempting to escape from him and utilizing different computer based intelligence empowered capacities. This game isn't so much for relaxed play yet for gamers who love to utilize cerebrum and hand developments.
Characters like these are ordinarily customized with what originators call a "limited state machine." In the plainest potential terms, this implies that NPCs are modified to follow a content, or an in the event that assertion. In any case, what engineers are plotting for, from here on out, is an exhaustive artificial intelligence framework which will allow characters to act in unscripted ways and pass on an atmosphere of secret to the game, in any event, for the actual originators, making the gaming business a genuine Westworld circumstance. In any case, impediments actually stay as whether the game will eventually work, interest a steadily changing crowd and, surprisingly, monetary help from a moderate industry that likes to avoid any unnecessary risk for the benefits.
Virtualinfocom is furnishing its AR-VR arms stockpile with expanding into medical services (readiness of clinical understudies, therapy of PTSD and arrangement of social comprehension to oversee chemical imbalance), guard area, VR Motion pictures and games (amusement), VR based 3D home, and a few different areas, and going along with them by utilizing the fundamental XR innovation.
XR has been satisfying its expectations. It is bringing the of the two universes, envisioned and genuine, and offering an unrivaled encounter which promises to reform the future and rethink its limits.