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Harman International Industries is in the process of being acquired by Samsung in a whopping $8 billion deal, which will mark the Korean giant's entry into the automotive industry. Harman is famous for manufacturing top of the line audio systems, smartcar accessories and other automobile entertainment systems for companies such as GM and Fiat. In an official statement by Samsung, Vice-Chairman Kwon Oh-Hyun mentioned that "Harman perfectly complements Samsung in terms of technologies, products and solutions, and joining forces is a natural extension of the automotive strategy we have been pursuing for some time."


The all-cash deal, when it goes through, will result in Samsung acquiring Harman Industries at $112 per share. Although it will take some time before the buyout is completed, Samsung is looking to finish all the necessary formalities by the end of Q3, 2017, including approvals from the regulators and of course, share holders. It would be interesting to see if any of the new protectionist strategies which could be adopted by the new Trump govenment, interferes with this deal concerning an Asian company acquiring an US business.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



We already know that Samsung is planning to get into the automotive industry and today, another report right out of China is claiming that Samsung has taken another big step in that direction. According to this report, Audi will use Samsung's own Exynos processors in their cars, starting from the next year. If the report turns out to be true then this will be the first time that Samsung would be supplying its chips to a car manufacturer, thus marking the next step for Samsung in the industry.


Although this is the next step, we knew it was coming as Samsung did make a deal with Audi back in November to supply the manufacturer with semiconductor memory solutions (20nm DRAM) for the computers that some of their cars have built inside them. It was also in November, that Samsung had acquired Harman Internationals, a company famous for making car audio equipments. The chances are pretty high that Samsung, in collaboration with other suppliers and manufacturers, might be planning to launch multiple self-driving cars in the very near future.


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Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



It wasn't too long ago that Samsung had actually stopped producing Windows laptops altogether, but they have recently entered the market to try out their luck once again. While the Odyssey Z isn't the first laptop from since Samsung decided to re-enter the industry, it is the company's first gaming laptop nonetheless.



The Odessey Z looks quite sleek and packs in decent hardware as well, albeit nothing exceptional. What Samsung is highlighting is the company's custom cooling system that comprises of the Dynamic Spread Vapor Chamber, Z AeroFlow Cooling Design, and a Z Blade Blower. The manufacturer guarantees that this cooling system will keep the laptop icy even when the internals are pushed to their maximum. Speaking of internals, it is powered by an 8th-Gen Intel Core-i7 processor, GTX 1060 (6GB) GPU and up to 16GB of RAM. For more details about the laptop, check out the screenshot of the specs below. It would be interesting to see how Samsung prices the product, given that there's plenty of laptops there already with similar specifications.



Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



Smartphone technology has single-handedly transformed a range of industries and the way we do things in a lot of areas within such a short space of time.
In this aspect, the mobile and gambling industry is no different, with mobile phones actually helping to save the sector as well as being a big part of its future and prosperity. There are a number of ways that smartphones have brought about changes to online gaming as the industry has willingly embraced the innovative platforms, helping to increase the amount of players and operators' revenue.


With that in mind, in this post we shall take a closer look at 3 ways smartphones have changed the gambling industry.



Easier Access and Greater Convenience


The Internet opened new avenues for gambling providers to reach their existing customers as well as millions of potential new ones. The advent of smartphones meant that each mobile user was now a potential customer, even if it were only for free to play games.
Nowadays, online games such as bingo and other casino and gambling games are amongst the most popular and with new players coming on board all the time. In this case resources such as bingosites.uk guides to playing bingo help new players to acclimatise and find the games they prefer and are good at. The easier access and convenience provided by smartphones also means that all the information players need is always only a tap away.


Internet connected mobile phones therefore helped to bring easier access and greater convenience to anyone interested in playing casino games or online gambling. This is one of the biggest reasons behind the growth and popularity of mobile games and gambling.


A Wider Variety of Games


Another benefit that smartphones have brought to the gambling industry is the ability to offer a wider variety of games for players to choose from. From digital versions of traditional games such as blackjack, roulette, or bingo, titles with different themes and game play are also now available. Gambling operators can now offer a wider range of games than they could ever do at any one time in physical locations. This is another reason behind the growth in the numbers of people who take part in mobile gambling, as there are games to suit all tastes and abilities.


A More Social Experience


As contradictory as it may sound, smartphones have actually helped to make gambling a more social experience for players. Even though footfall may have fallen in general at physical casinos, mobile phones are able to bring like-minded people together faster, and easier. With both social media sites and gambling games based on the same platforms, it easier to share your interests and favourite games with your friends or even the rest of the world if you wish.
This social involvement and the points mentioned above have fuelled a growth in gambling tourism, resulting in an increase in players visiting real world casino again.


Conclusion


In conclusion, the three points above show how much of an impact smartphones have had on the gambling industry to become one of its biggest drivers of growth in user numbers and revenue. With innovations coming fast and the sector always keen to embrace new technologies, the future of the two seem intertwined for now.



Mobile phones have come so far from the days of the Nokia 3310 that it almost seems unbelievable today. A concept like that of say the Galaxy S8 would have seemed like fan-fiction even a decade ago, but today it's a reality. Modern smartphones are essentially portable computers capable of doing most of the everyday tasks that was previously only possible for a PC or a Mac, and gaming is one of those things. Sure, the games are definitely not as hardcore or graphically intense as the ones designed for a console or a PC, but that's the beauty of it; they don't have to be. They are popular because they are relatively simple and you don't need a super-expensive and power-hungry PC/console and monitor/big screen TV combo to play them.


Expected Growth


If you had any doubts regarding how popular gaming on mobile phones has become, then consider the following statistics to clear those doubts for good.


• By the end of 2017, the gaming industry as a whole will reach a total worth of $108.9 billion
• Mobile games will account for 42% of that total market value by reaching $46.1 billion
• The stats will reflect a remarkable 19% YOY growth for the mobile gaming industry
• The share of the mobile gaming business could surpass 50% of the gaming industry's total worth by the year 2020


What is Fuelling this Rapid Growth?


There are so many factors contributing directly to this swift growth of the mobile gaming industry that it would be easier to explain if they were separated in specific points.


Mobiles are Cheaper



The Android revolution has made mobiles cheaper and since last year, even the most basic $100 phones have started to provide decent and playable gaming performances; something that was unthinkable even in 2014 or early 2015. Additionally, even a flagship smartphone like the Galaxy S8+ or the iPhone 7 Plus is significantly cheaper than a high-end gaming PC. You can argue that a console is cheaper but then you would have to consider the fact that they are typically gaming-only devices, while a smartphone is a portable console, a camera, a phone and so much more.


The Perfect Platform for Online Gamblers



Games like Sizzling Hot are extremely popular among online gamblers and a smartphone allows them to play all of their favorite slot and card games from anywhere in the world. In fact, most online casinos even have dedicated Android and iOS apps to make the experience even smoother for their patrons.


Wider Reach


Everybody has a smartphone now and that's one of the most important reasons as to why mobile gaming is the future. It is so much easier for app developers to reach their customers for that specific reason. Paying for apps, games, bets and in-app purchases are also much easier to do on the phone and surveys have confirmed that people prefer it that way.


Finally, we come to the last reason and that's not only related to the rise of the mobile gaming industry but it is also one of the premier causes responsible for the ever-increasing popularity of the smartphones themselves. They are just so much more comfortable to use than laptops or desktops! You can play games for hours on a phone while travelling or lying on the bed. As mobile phones continue to become more and more advanced with each passing year, they are more than likely to establish themselves as the future standard for portable gaming.



The new mobile apps and mobile software have entirely changed the course of mobile gaming. The more the casinos adopt new technologies and betting games, there has been a great influence on the casino industry. In the following article, UK based Sailor Bingo website has summarised how the casino industry has evolved and transformed over the years.


Statistics of Mobile Casino Industry


• According to an online casino report, the revenue from online betting was estimated at $4 billion in the year 2012. However, currently, the casino industry generates $41.4 billion worth of profits through online betting.


• Some of the statistics show that the mobile casino industry is worth $100 billion alone.


• According to an online report published in one of the reputed websites, it is predicted that the tablet-gambling industry alone will reach a commendable mark of £13 billion worth by 2019.


• In 1986, the technology took the horseracing to a next level with betting stores offering drinks and Televisions showing the live coverage of horse races. There were also fruit machines and fixed- odds betting available for the players.


1. Mobile Apps and New Mobile Games


The new age of Smartphones has seen a rapid growth in the online casino sector. There are many inventions in the mobile casino gaming to suit the requirements of the players. It is easier for users to access their favourite casino games on the fingertips. Android and Apple stores are now having a wide range of casino games which are compatible with any kind of device. The statisticians of the mobile gaming industry have estimated that 56% of the USA's population prefer playing games on mobile devices rather than desktops or laptops.


2. From Real Time Slot Machines to Video Slots


There was a time when players had to visit the land- based casinos or betting shops in order to play their stakes on slot machines. Now the technology brings the experience of casinos from your homes and on your mobile phones and desktops. You can choose to play from thousands of themed- based video slots at any of the mobile casinos. You can place your stakes on the video slots and spin the reels to get real money wins.


3. Online Betting and Betting Shops


There are many options available for the players to place their stakes on horse races using the online mediums of betting. However, there is a risk of misusing of funds or identity theft involved in using online betting mediums for betting. When you visit a bookmaker, you can purchase the betting tickets on real time basis and they only deal with cash. Hence, you can have 100% security that your funds in the safe hands.


Photo by Raw Pixel, CC0 Creative Commons


One of the biggest trends in the world of iGaming is the rise of mobile usage. Fans of casino table games, video slots and online poker are increasingly using smartphones and tablet devices to play their favorite games at their convenience, without the need to venture to land-based establishments. According to the U.K. Gambling Commission, the number of people that used a mobile device to place a wager rose to 51 percent in 2017.


With more than half of all British iGamers going mobile, it's a trend that is also felt elsewhere around the world. The global iGaming industry is forecast to be worth almost $60 billion by the turn of the next decade, with sports wagering markets and casino games available on mobile driving most revenues. The online poker industry has also become increasingly mobile. Even the latest blockchain-powered poker rooms that accept cryptocurrency as payment at the tables are now available on Android and iOS devices. So, what are the driving factors behind the appeal of using smartphones to play for real money?


The Rise of HTML5 Technology


Ask any budding gamer today what makes a great mobile game and they will tell you slick graphics and audio. Gaming has come a long way since the days of Pong and Space Invaders. Today's iGaming brands can provide the best possible user experiences on mobile devices, thanks to the implementation of HTML5 technology, transcending desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet devices that provide consistent gaming action on all platforms. Prior to the arrival of HTML5, Flash-based casino games were commonplace, but their resource-heavy nature was not beneficial for a slick mobile experience. HTML5 technology has enabled iGaming software developers to seamlessly translate their most successful iGaming titles from the desktop onto mobile devices.


24/7 Access Ideal for Gaming on the Go


It's also crucial to acknowledge the increased accessibility of iGaming on mobile devices. The ability to download and log in to an iGaming app on a smartphone or tablet means that gamers can sit down at their favorite table games or video slots at any time of the day or night. Such 24/7 accessibility also means players no longer need to venture to land-based casinos as much, opting to play on mobile devices from the comfort of the living room, on an early morning commute or on a lunch break at work.


Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Could Take iGaming to Another Dimension


Advancements to the quality of live-streaming technology in recent years has enabled iGaming brands to offer live dealer table games managed by professionally trained human dealers. Doing so offers players similar levels of interaction and engagement they would get from a night in a brick-and-mortar casino. Technology is evolving at a rapid rate right now, and the next generation of iGaming is already in the making. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is being developed for mobile devices to transport players to virtual casino environments and create sensory gaming experiences on another dimension to what's available today online. Smartphones' compatibility with AR and VR will stand mobile devices in good stead to cement themselves as the market leader for immersive iGaming in the years to come.


 



The mobile market is expected to take a huge leap in a bold new direction with foldable smartphones. As is expected for release by Samsung and Huawei this year, this approach means that smartphones will be able to have tablet-sized screens but still remain pocket-sized and convenient. Mobile gaming and media consumption have influenced the gradual rising size of smartphone screens. This recent folding innovation could have come about in order to enhance the gaming experience. This ingenious invention could boost the thriving mobile gaming sector even more.



The mobile gaming market is already booming, and was worth $137.9 billion in 2018. It is projected to grow to an astonishing $180 billion by 2021 - and this rapid increase could be helped by foldable smartphones. Looking at the Galaxy Fold from Samsung, the screen will open up to a size of 7.3 inches. Its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S10, has a screen size of 5.8 inches. Given the fact that the S10 is considered among the larger smartphones ever made, it highlights just how much bigger the foldable offering will be.



According to GO-Globe, over 62 percent of smartphone users install and play games on their devices, and it makes sense that to be able to enjoy the games fully they would require a larger screen. This is one of the reasons why tablets came about, but the bigger devices are bulkier and harder to carry around than smartphones. Foldable smartphones could bring about a happy medium.




The iGaming industry has played a major part in boosting the mobile gaming market, with a lot of slot games now being made with primary considerations focusing on the smaller devices rather than desktop. Games like Action Bank Slot and Ace of Spades, offered by Lucky Pants Bingo, can be played from mobile or desktop, but are arguably better suited to mobile play as the reels are enlarged to fit the whole screen. This creates a more immersive experience. On a larger surface with high definition graphics, these games will look even more impressive.



Another huge success story of the mobile gaming industry is the MMO genre, with titles like Ragnarok Online leading the way. These games have encouraged mass cooperative play online, and have challenged more established offerings like World of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls for supremacy. The reason why they don't totally dominate over desktop offerings could be down to the fact that some players need to see these types of games on a larger screen. This is where the foldable smartphones could come in and help bring more players over to mobile.



With foldable smartphones yet to hit the market, there is still a lot of uncertainty around them. Samsung has said that its offering will be durable enough to last 200,000 folds. But the company has also had some disastrous products in the past which it has had to recall due to serious faults. If foldable phones don't have any major problems, they could become the norm in the near future. And if this happens, it is likely to be a major boost to the mobile gaming market.



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The mobile gaming market is booming. In the last few years, the video game industry has shifted towards mobile gaming, and with more significant game developers jumping on the bandwagon, it looks like it's only a matter of time before mobile gaming overtakes console and PC as the primary platform for gaming.


Why is mobile gaming so popular?


Mobile gaming is much more affordable than console or PC gaming. This is a major factor in the revenue generated by the mobile games industry, simply because more people own smartphones than consoles or PCs. A lot of mobile games are entirely free to download or are available for a small sum. For the majority of people, it's a much more affordable and convenient way to play.


According to a recent report by market intelligence company Newzoo, the global games market is expected to hit a total revenue of $152.1 billion this year. Mobile gaming remains the largest segment of the global games market in 2019 with $68.5 billion coming from mobile games, accounting for 45% of the worldwide market.


TabTale is an Israeli mobile game developer that has released over 500 original mobile games including the hugely popular Run Sausage Run, which achieved more than 20 million downloads in the first two months after it was released and has logged more than 50 million downloads shortly after. Run Sausage Run is a free to play endless runner with one-touch controls. It's a simple concept, but it's immensely fun and easy to play. The simplicity and accessibility of the majority of mobile games available on the marketplace is a significant factor in the popularity of smartphone gaming.


More companies developing mobile games


As smartphone technology continues to get better every year, more advanced mobile games are coming out all the time. This is a huge draw for online casinos like Betway, who have capitalised on the popularity of mobile gaming. Several online casinos have launched mobile apps and sites where players can choose from several interactive mobile casino games. One of the main reasons for mobile gaming popularity is that it's an easy and fun way to kill time during busy days when you're on a break or a train home. Also, more people own smartphones than own consoles or desktops.


Mobile gaming has become a large industry, and it's no surprise that a lot of traditional game studios are putting so much effort into mobile games. Square Enix brought its popular Final Fantasy series to mobile with the launch of Mobius Final Fantasy as well as Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, which has received more than 20 million downloads and is available on iOS and Android. In 2016, mobile gaming revenues surpassed PC and console games for the first time, generating $40.6 billion in global revenue.


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Console games on mobile devices


While a lot of hardcore gamers refuse to recognize mobile gaming as ‘real gaming', this attitude is expected to change in the coming years as smartphones continue to advance and the processing power of mobile devices will be capable of running games with console-like graphics. We've already seen this with the launch of popular Battle Royale games like Fornite and PubG on iOS and Android which are capable of cross-platform play with console and PC players.


Cloud-based gaming is set to be a big thing in the future and could potentially replace the need for consoles. Cloud-based gaming allows you to stream games directly to your device, lifting the need for an expensive console or PC as all the heavy processing is done via cloud servers. With 5G right around the corner, it is possible we could see large A-games running on smartphone devices just as smoothly as they would on consoles.


To sum up


The mobile gaming industry continues to grow at an exponential rate and has already overtaken console gaming in revenue. However, it remains to be seen if mobile gaming will ever be capable of delivering the same kind of immersive gaming experience that consoles or PCs can offer. If you're interested in technology, then make sure to check out other posts on the Jerusalem Post for all the latest news and updates on all things tech-related.


 


Cloud-gaming

 

Modern technology is one of the most rapidly evolving innovations. New concepts are brought to life regularly and are utilized by dozens of industries. The online gaming industry is no exception, and it's significantly different than it was a few years ago. You no longer need to buy a disc to play your favorite game - just hop online and pick among hundreds of choices.

What is Cloud Gaming?

Cloud-based gaming is a term that describes how online games are facilitated. An online server processes these games, rather than your device. It's similar to video streaming, where your actions are visible in real-time. 


The "cloud" refers to servers that are located and accessed online, over the Internet. The databases and software that run these servers form part of the cloud as well. Cloud servers can be found all around the world in specific data centers


You can access the same applications and files from any device, since the storage of this information is held in the servers, and not on your device. This is why you can, for example,  access your various social media accounts on different smartphones and still have the same photos, videos, and messages available.

 

The cloud is used to meet a myriad of industry needs. Email providers rely heavily on cloud-based solutions, as do storage providers like Dropbox. Cloud-based gaming is just as popular nowadays and offers a variety of benefits.


Benefits of Cloud Gaming

Cloud-based solutions are transforming games online in numerous ways.

Enhanced Security

In the cloud, information is stored virtually. This means it's much more secure compared to other traditional platforms used in data storage. The risk of hacking is significantly minimized as well, which is one of the main concerns on the Internet. 

Device Compatibility

Before the availability of cloud-based solutions, it was challenging to access games on lower-end devices. Things like memory space, graphics, and processing capabilities imposed limitations. The technology wasn't fully optimized for cloud computing gaming, either, and Internet speeds were too slow. This is not the case anymore, and many devices can now enjoy the benefits of cloud gaming. 

Lower Operating Costs

Companies can cut costs on their server space and Internet bandwidth usage by using cloud-based solutions. Earlier gaming models caused companies to pay more for wider bandwidth in times of high traffic volumes, especially when new gaming titles were released. In the cloud, payments are conducted on a "pay-as-you-go" system, so companies only pay for the resources they use.

Easier Access to Games

Online casinos use the cloud to their advantage by offering instant-play games. You don't have to download or install anything to access your game of choice. For video games, you don't need to worry about loading up the disk to play. Instead, you can subscribe to a gaming provider, like Steam, and instantly gain access to the game selection. From there, you can download the games you enjoy and pick up where you left off on any supported device.


How Cloud Gaming Impacts Online Casinos

Cloud computer gaming offers the possibility of further innovations like virtual reality. Online casinos have dipped their toes into this idea, but it's still in the early stages. Virtual reality headsets can offer you a completely immersive casino experience from beginning to end. 


It sounds fantastic, but the costs associated with VR headsets are astronomical. Likewise, so are the costs of running and upgrading a computer linked to VR. This is where cloud computer gaming can come in handy and move the process along. Here are some ways that online casinos could develop in the future, according to our expert Kevin N. Cochran:

 

  • Blackjack - There's a VR release titled "Blackjack Bailey" available already, and it shows how exciting a casino VR experience is.

  • Roulette - Roulette could one day integrate live dealers into the VR world, and you could see the actual casino from your couch.

  • Slots - VR slots could offer an immersive experience with the varying themes that are incorporated. You could even try the demo version first and then play free slots, Canada

  • Poker - Imagine a VR world where every player has their own avatar. Finding your opponent's entails a whole new ballgame. 

Conclusion

Cloud-based solutions are transforming the online gaming industry. They provide real-time data and the ability to engage in games from a variety of devices. The cloud also offers enhanced security measures, lower operating costs, as well as easier access to games. The addition of virtual reality could add a brand new layer to online gaming as well. Why not visit an online operator and see the possibilities of cloud gaming for yourself?


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