From the latest technology to the future of gaming, life and business, this year's rAge Expo at the Gallagher Convention Centre will offer attendees a feast of the future. At rAge, everyone from gamers and geeks, to business people and casual fans will all be able to dive in, explore and immerse themselves in the trends, innovations and creations that will impact our world over the next decade. Innovative new ideas from the Metaverse to virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud gaming will impact the future.
With gaming now bigger than the movie and music industries combined, there can be little surprise that many technological advancements will soon be impacting how we interact with and play our favourite games.
Despite challenges, tech companies like Facebook, Valve and Sony are busy investing significant resources into developing more efficient VR hardware and games. With VR set to unlock, rather than hinder, more social aspects, experts are saying it can expect to seize a significant percentage of market share over the coming years.
Blending the virtual with the real, augmented reality is going to change everything from gaming to training sessions for new employees, shopping, and even live entertainment. Augmented reality (AR) is also set to become a significantly more impactful part of daily life. Backed by another significant tech advancement in AI, AR is surgeons being assisted with their decision-making to apprentice mechanics being guided through part replacement, and CEOs plotting and understanding their company's multiple data points.
Of course, AI will also find its way into gaming. Gamers should expect non-player characters (NPCs) to become a lot smarter in future as AI gives them the ability to learn and adapt to the players' style and past actions. This can already be seen in games like Halo 2, where enemy aliens now have the ability to work together and coordinate their attacks, rather than heedlessly charge into gunfire one at a time like action villains from an 80s movie.
AI won't just be part of the in-game system but will also become part of the game-building system. For some time, game designers have allowed AI to construct elements in their games like trees and rock formations, freeing them up to focus on more complex elements, but taken to its logical conclusion, this facility may see AI used to create gaming maps, levels and surroundings on the fly, effectively making games capable of being an entirely new experience every time and creating endless sandbox opportunities for genuine, immersive content. Imagine a game that collected background data, slowly learnt the things the gamer loves doing the most and adapted the experience to better fit what the gamer enjoyed.
With incoming High Fidelity graphics, games are expected to feel more real too, generating worlds that look as crisp and as realistic as the ones we live in. PC Gaming companies like Nvidia are taking the lead in creating graphics cards that allow for high-fidelity gaming.
When all of these elements come together, it's clear that we are no longer simply looking at whether the futuristic Holodeck from Star Trek will become a reality, but when.
This technology will likely be backed up with highly sophisticated financial systems that may rely on cryptocurrencies or related technology. Financial experts have weighed in of late to suggest that crypto is by no means dead but merely maturing. Will it become a niche technology used mainly to shift money around the globe illegitimately, or will governments step in and regulate crypto like any other currency? Perhaps it will be a blend of the two?
All of this will undoubtedly be linked, or at least connected, to the Metaverse. This virtual, three dimension embodiment of the internet is currently only used by a small percentage of companies and businesses, but this is set to change. A recent Gartner Marketing Survey found that 35% of consumers have never heard of the Metaverse. Still, as per projections, Gartner expects that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the Metaverse for work, shopping, education, social media, and entertainment.
“When it comes to the way we behave and interact, the metaverse has a lot more in common with the physical world than with the flat screen Web 2.0 world, says an executive fellow at Henley Business School Africa, Louise Claasen. “People that work in and on these spaces are solving for digital and virtual ownership, interoperability and democratisation of ownership, collaboration and participation. Drawing a distinction between the virtual world and the 'real' world is a misnomer. Life will happen ever more seamlessly for us across our physical, digital and virtual worlds.”
While currently, no one knows for sure what the Metaverse will look like or how it will completely change our lives, there is an absolute certainty that it is coming, and the result will be similar to when the internet launched and changed the game for companies and individuals around the globe.
These topics, and so much more, are among those that will be discussed at the rAgeX conference on December 9th. The conference will host speakers, sessions, and panel discussions, and will be focused on discussing the technologies, from crypto to the Metaverse and machine learning, that are changing our planet and teaching attendees how to wield them for business and personal success. More casual observers may simply wander the stands experiencing the latest mind-blowing technologies, interacting with the true capabilities of modern gaming and trialling the cutting-edge innovations that are changing our world. The future is here, and it's all in one place – rAge Expo 2022. Get your tickets and witness the next step.
Dates: 9 - 11 December 2022
Expo times: Friday: 10:00-18:00 | Saturday: 09:00-18:00 | Sunday: 09:00-16:00
Day pass: R180 per person at Howler
Weekend pass: R400 per person at Howler
Kids under 6: Free
Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Gauteng