TIME TO PLAY: are smartwatch slot games the future of casino games?

  • Wearable tech could the be the latest playground for casino game developers
  • Apple Watch and other devices already have a number of slot games to play

Wearable technology is the latest trend among Millennials, with the market reportedly set to be worth more than £4 billion by the end of this year.

As is the case with all burgeoning technological developments – think virtual reality – casino operators and developers are quick to take advantage of the latest innovations in their quest to offer players new and immersive ways of experiencing their favourite casino games.

Think wearable tech and it’s likely you’ll conjure up images of the Apple Watch and similar devices. But, can you really imagine playing slots on such a tiny screen? By all accounts, you should. Here we take a look at what you can expect to see in the shape of smartwatch-optimised casino games. Prepare to be impressed…

Current smartwatch slots

At the moment, there are a few options around for smartwatch owners and tech-savvy slots fans. With less than are a dozen apps available, it’s fair to say that players aren’t spoiled for choice just yet. But, what’s available is certainly interesting.

Currently, the best option on the market right now is the aptly named Slots Time!, which was one of the first smartwatch slots game (see the video above). Launched in 2015, it made its debut shortly after the original Apple Watch went on sale – but the game has developed along with the enhanced capabilities of the latest generation of smartwatches.

In Slots Time!, players have access to themed rooms, so they can play slots based on pirates, the wild west or any number of unique motifs. Each slot also offers up its own bonus games, like pick-a-prize rounds.

So, if you’re after a smartwatch slot that offers the most realistic play – in terms of what you’re used to from online casino slots – this is one of your best options.

Wrist-friendly format

Elsewhere, Watch Slots Casino is a mobile slot from Valcour Games. It’s a 3×3 slots game with a classic theme that features symbols like sevens, stars, clovers and cherries – basically, your average fruit machine but in a wrist-friendly format.

The game doesn’t offer any of the bonus features that you’d expect from typical online slots but it makes for a fun way to pass the time.

Another option – Double Luck Nudge – offers a slightly more sophisticated take than Watch Slots Casino. It features a similar classic-style slot machine, but players have the opportunity to level up as they earn coins.

What’s to come?

While the majority of wearable slots are pretty basic, there is undoubtedly potential for much greater capability. There is only so much designers can do with 3-reel slots, but more advanced games like Slots Time! show just how intricate smartwatch slots can be.

While most of the demand for online slots remains in the smartphone and tablet markets, and thus includes games played on browsers via online casinos, the proliferation of smartwatch and wearable technology makes for an exciting prospect.

At the moment most of the casino apps available to play on a watch are made by app developers. That being said, the casino industry in general is very much focused on innovative technology and the possibilities for immersive play, different ways of presenting the action and new casino game experiences.

Today, many online and mobile slots offer arcade-style features that allow players to engage in bonus games that require as much skill as luck. Similar types of games could make a fantastic addition to slots available on wearables, and there are already a number of arcade-like games like Sonic Dash available. The future, it seems, could be all about slots in miniature.

OUR VERDICT

How small do you want your slots to be? That’s probably one of the first questions when you’re thinking about spinning the reels on your wrist. But isn’t it an exciting idea? There’s no doubt that we are headed toward a world that’s dominated by 24-hour tech and go-anywhere applications. And having them on a watch is one of the best ways of achieving that. Of course, when it comes to playing games like slots there’s undoubtedly be limitations at the moment – and not just the size of the screen. Play an online slot at a casino and, while they may appear relatively straightforward, they’re pretty complex beasts. How that translates to the simple processing power of a smartwatch remains to be seen as developments continue. There’s also the small matter of what you win. Many of these apps are for fun only – is that enough for die-hard casino fans? At the moment the market is in its infancy, but it will be interesting to see how it develops.

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