Voice technology is currently in the process of leapfrogging over established digital interfaces, but this isn’t a painless transition. Computer interfaces, especially the keyboard and mouse, will resist this change.
Additionally, the game controller isn’t about to turn over and play dead when a slew of next generation games are coming down the pipe. Still, a game changing technology is on the horizon. Virtual reality is finally coming of age.
Engaging Gamers in Deeply Immersive Environments
The developers of virtual reality headsets have gone to a great deal of effort to create devices that make you feel as if you’re inside the game. A mix of accelerometers and sensors react to head movement, sending the data to a processor with plenty of horsepower.
The resulting wide angled view is rendered in high resolution and has a realistic scrolling parallax, thus generating a world that fools the eye. All of the visual elements are in place in this simulated gaming environment, including three-dimensional gaming assets, spatial audio, and enemies with next-gen AI.
A realistic input controller is the only thing missing. Imagine trying to command soldiers to converge at a certain waypoint or flank left. Pushing CTR-W or some other finger-twisting keyboard combination just wouldn’t cut it in this scenario. Keyboard presses and manic mouse button mashing would break the immersive experience, which is why voice technology is considered a key part of virtual reality.
The Current State of Voice Recognition
You only need to go online or load up a new operating system to gauge where voice technology is going. Digital assistants on smartphones tap into the processing power of your device in search of the latest weather conditions and football scores. They find the best route to that movie you’ve just bought a ticket for online and play music as a wake-up call.
On discerning how these software improvements affect gaming, you can see that the software has improved at an exponential rate due to these digital assistants. Game software is quicker to train, can recognize accents, and will, in time, be able to react to every nuanced command made in your game.
The Future of Immersive Gaming
It’s taken 40 years to get voice technology to the point it’s at today, a place where you now expect your commands to be acted upon. In terms of gaming, this equates to finite control over every element, and we’re not just talking about battalions of soldiers.
A low-latency voice command will tell your football team which formation to use. If you’re determined to blitz your opponent, then issue the command and feel the god-like sensation incurred by watching your virtual team scurry to follow the order.
Your voice already plays a role in gaming, but only with living opponents. You slip on a headset and turn on your big screen television to play a game with friends that are located in distant lands. As miraculous as this dynamic gaming experience is, virtual reality gaming will shift the concept into high gear by bring NPC (non-playable characters into the mix (gbtimes.com).
Fast processors and refined software have already placed gamers on the cusp of this new reality, but the software engineering still requires a year or two to polish the programming. After all, that second or two of latency between command and action is perfectly fine for a cutting-edge new smartphone, but this latency issue would drag the game down.
Once the software conquers such slowdowns and can instantly recognize any regional dialect, then you’re ready for next generation virtual reality with voice control.