After years of the cellular phone slowly eating away at the market for wristwatches, timepieces have again become a stylish accessory. With simple assimilation of modern 4G LTE technology and voila! Reborn as a smart watch, the wristwatch can again compete for the disposable cash of both techies and the fashion-conscious.
Online casino game providers, always on the cutting edge of portable software technology, naturally quickly addressed the opportunities inherent in slot games for smart watches. The first specifically-designed slots for smart phones (more on these titles below) were debuted at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2014 – less than one year after Omate launched the first modern smartwatch.
As of this writing about two years later, some progress has been made in developing more slots games for smartwatches. Free-play fruit machine-type games unaffiliated with a real-money casino are readily available as apps, while casino software designers steadily adapt and develop their bigger slot game titles for the new format.
The road to the modern-day smartwatch is probably longer than you think: Even ignoring early prototypes, we can pinpoint the first-ever smartwatch with the 1983 release of the Data 2000 by Seiko. This device included an external keyboard, the ability to sync data with a PC and a memory capacity just under 2K. (That’s right, kiddies: In the days before gigabytes and terabytes, we talked about ridiculously small amounts of data like kilobytes – about enough to compose a very short fan fic.)
The term “smartwatch” itself was coined around 2004 by Microsoft in advance of the launch of the SPOT (an anagram of the frankly terrible Smart Personal Objects Technology) smartwatch. And as previously noted, the startup company Omate managed to raise some $1 million through a Kickstarter campaign of 2012-13 and thus launch the TrueSmart, the first wristwatch device to boast the full functionality of a smartphone. By 2014, the TrueSmart was widely available on the market and the big consumer-tech companies were hurriedly playing catchup.
Within a year of Omate’s big splash, all the names one hears when shopping for a tablet launched their own versions of the smartwatch. Samsung produced the Galaxy Gear Live series; Sony rapidly evolved its simply-titled Sony Smart Watch; LG had the G Watch; Asus created the ZenWatch; you-know-who distributed the Apple Watch worldwide; and Motorola got in on the action to release the Moto 360. Even outfits not solely devoted to the electronics and/or mobile tech industries such as Google and Swatch announced production of smartwatches.
With the exception of the Apple Watch, each of the above-listed models live up to the expertise of their producers. After all, there’s a reason the world’s largest online casino software company chose to launch the first-ever smartwatch slot games on a Samsung Galaxy Gear device.
In theory, one can play virtually any online slot on smartwatches: Simply chec
k out a no-download casino site, choose a slot and play. However, sharp as graphics are in mobile technology from Samsung, Sony, Apple, etc., limits to legibility do exist. As of the end of 2015, the highest resolution on a smartwatch was 400 x 400 pixels – not exactly Apple iPad retina display-level technology. The result is that, while a few titles (especially the old-fashioned, single-reel fruit machine-style games with no video bonus round) adapt pretty well to the smartwatch format, most cannot be enjoyed with anything resembling a proper gaming experience.
Just as each mobile device format requires a unique operating system, graphics work best when catering to the given OS. The only limit to slot game play and display on your smartwatch is the casino software producers’ willingness to tweak the software for the new format.
The aforementioned Mobile World Congress of 2014 saw the launch of two big titles from Microgaming for the Samsung Galaxy smartwatch – Thunderstruck and the Dark Knight Rises – that set unwritten rules still in place for would-be smartphone slot game creators.
Thunderstruck has been one of the most popular titles at Microgaming-powered online casinos since its release way back in 2003. This slot game has been claimed to be the first online slot featuring a free spins bonus round, but players continued to love Thunderstruck long after free spins offers essentially became standard. And while Thunderstruck’s jackpot was massive in ’03, it’s hardly the biggest payout anymore.
As when other mobile formats (phones, tablets, etc.) hit the consumer electronics market, Thunderstruck has always been among the first to be adapted for online casino play in the new format. The nice, clean graphics adjust well to the smallest of screens – like the smartwatch’s display – with the rolling lightning effects remaining nicely eye-catching. The smartwatch slot game version of Thunderstruck appears as though the game was created with the format in mind.
Slightly more instructive regarding the effects of the new medium is The Dark Knight Rises. This intricately designed and clearly big budget slot was stripped down for the smartwatch. No extra flair is devoted to the game’s title (!) or wagering information, as the game itself occupies the vast majority of the limited screen resources.
Ironically, Dark Knight Rises: The Smartwatch Slot Game shows players the inherent difficulties in designing such a game. The truth is that, freed of the constraints of a 3 x 5 game board, the movie clips and video bonus round quite simply blows away anything else this game offers, graphically speaking. The fat jackpot payout and slick gameplay certainly make Dark Knight Rises worth playing, but most players are going to want more of the bonus material than the actual slot game.
You can play smartwatch slots for real money at mobile casinos via the listings on this website. The process to start playing is fairly typical: Visit a website (or search in your favorite app store to find one), download the app, click and play!
Enjoy slot games on your smartwatch today; it’s quite a fun experience!