Lifestyle

Gaming On The Blockchain & 5 Other Cool Ways Tech Is Used For Fun Today

  • Technology is rapidly evolving, with our world becoming more seamlessly connected every passing day.
  • On that note, we decided to take a look at six ways these technologies are being integrated with our entertainment options, including music, TV, gaming, and concerts.

Earth is a globe (despite what some might say), the sun rises in the east, and technology pushes more into the realm of science fiction with every passing day.

As we bear witness to the mind-boggling advancements made in the various technological fields of today, we often prefer to focus on how things such as virtual reality, blockchain, and artificial intelligence can help drive our economies, healthcare, and education forward. But as these technologies integrate with businesses, hospitals, and schools, our entertainment options also increase.

Here, we run down through six cool ways that modern day technology is changing the way we entertain ourselves, all the way from music to sports.

1. Virtual Reality Activities

No discussion about tech-based entertainment is ever complete without the mention of virtual reality. Over the years, interest in the technology has skyrocketed thanks to its popularisation by the video games industry.

Today, there are a myriad of entertainment options available when it comes to VR, with the most prominent of them being actual VR centres (such as VR Lab) where people spend time playing games in a virtual environment. In Malaysia, these centres started off small, locating themselves in shoplots nearby commercial and residential areas.

But more recently, these VR centres have seen an increase in size and capacity to the point where there are now “VR theme-parks” offering virtual alternatives to all sorts of activities ranging from laser tag, racing, bungee jumping, and rock climbing.

These are already available locally, such as The Rift in Mid Valley, and an upcoming VR theme park in Empire Damansara that is set to be opened by the end of 2018.

2. AI-Created Media Content

Much has been said about how artificial intelligence is helping the world around us to live, learn, and work better. So it comes as no surprise that with all these developments in synthetic machine-learning, there was bound to be something that could cater to our entertainment needs.

To illustrate how AI is slowing integrating itself into our everyday entertainment options, take the example of Amazon’s intelligent assistant program Alexa—which has been equipped with the capability to compose music using algorithms and pre-recorded audio samples.

This happens without any human interference, and so far while the quality of music created isn’t going to be topping any Billboard chart in the near future, it is the clearest indicator yet how AI can not only serve as a tool for business, engineering, or healthcare, but instead as a proper component in the creation of media content.

In another example, check out how facial animations can be created from the sound of speech alone.

3. Living In An Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR)—the concept of superimposing computer-generated imagery onto real-life environment—is nothing new. In the past we have already had video games on consoles and smartphones that turned the world around us into completely new and different places, with Pokemon Go being a prime example.

But currently, new developments in AR are taking things a step further, with the concept of altogether doing away with screens a real possibility.

Just last year, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced an increased focus by Facebook to develop more AR-based solutions, and also said that the future would eventually see screens be replaced by eyewear and contact lenses that would be able to seamlessly merge the real world with online content.

Imagine a future where nanometre-thick lenses could stream our favourite TV shows right onto our eyeballs. Wouldn’t that be something?

4. IoT-Driven Museums

One of the hallmarks of cultured society, the museum is also one of the things being integrated with modern-day technology. Where they were mostly limited to showcasing art pieces, ancient artifacts, and historical documents, museums are now being integrated with the internet to provide a significantly more enriching experience to visitors.

For example, a company called Squint/Opera used Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance user experiences for a exhibition in the historical Savoy Place in London. For this, an app was built that would sit dormant in users’ smartphones, but would activate upon proximity contact with various purposefully placed beacons scattered around the exhibition.

When in contact with a beacon, the app pulls down information from the cloud regarding the exhibit associated with the beacon and displays it to visitors.

Hopefully, concepts similar to these will eventually become more widespread, and eventually lead to a heightened interest in cultural exhibits all over the world.

5. Gaming On The Blockchain

Right now, mention the term “blockchain” and the immediate thought response of everyone would probably be Bitcoin or something related to cryptocurrency. But another application for the burgeoning technology lies in video games.

Already, gaming using blockchain technology has manifested in early titles such as Cryptokitties and Huntercoin, but developers are looking at more in-depth ways to utilise the technology for gaming.

Recently, a blockchain-based gaming platform called Chimaera was launched to allow both gamers and developers to leverage upon blockchain technology to create and maintain whole gaming universes without the need for servers, allow transactions without the risk of fraud, and enable real-life value for in-game economies.

This essentially sounds like the creation of entire virtual worlds will be made easier for those with skill but not the budget, and could possibly lead towards a freakish future where everybody lives and makes decisions based on their virtual needs and wants.

6. Concerts In Your Living Room

Another entry in the Virtual Reality category. Now thanks to VR, the possibility of seeing your favourite artist live and “in the flesh” right from the comfort of your own home now exists.

Using 3D cameras placed right before the stage, would-be concert-goers who are can’t make it to the actual venue due to whatever reason can now don VR headsets and experience the show just as if they were really there in person.

This goes beyond just watching a concert from a television screen, as viewing the event through VR actually lets you have an immersive 360-degree view of the concert, with some claiming the experience to be so convincing that they even got up from their seat at home to dance.

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There are much more than just these six real-world entertainment applications for the most advanced technologies available today, and more similar ideas will come to fruition in the near future.

On that note, we wonder what other possible fun things could be done with today’s technology? Perhaps a VR game world where all five sense were engaged, just like the Matrix? Far-fetched, but it could happen in the near future.

Feature Image Credit: The Rift, Mid Valley

 

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