2017 Technology Trends… Will be discussed in a different blog post


I know, right? You were expecting the first Whiteoaks blog of 2017 to be a “top trends to look out for this year” type thing. Wrong. Instead, let’s look back at how technology was used to bring New Years’ Eve celebrations into the 21st century.

The famous London Fireworks attracted a huge crowd of people, with the allocated 110,000 tickets selling like hotcakes. While a ticket entitled attendees to a fully immersive experience (I for one love the sound and smells of a good fireworks display), there is no guarantee a view of the display will be any good. By midnight, thousands and thousands of firework-lovers and revellers would’ve been standing around all day trying to find the best viewpoint. And let’s not forget it’s December and highly unlikely to be warm in any kind of way.

That’s where the BBC stepped in. For the first time, internet users were able to feel like they were standing at the side of the Thames looking up at the colourful Catherine Wheels as the display was broadcast live on YouTube in 360-degrees.

Obviously, the display was still broadcast on TV like it usually is, but in my opinion, that’s pretty static and is the same each year. What this 360-degree allowed you to do was plant yourself in amongst the rest of the crowd. You could look up, down, left, right and behind you from a single static position. This was all done by dragging your mouse around the screen on a laptop or PC, or if you have a smartphone (who doesn’t?) you could also change the direction you were looking in by moving the device around.

Cue virtual reality. With the help of basic headsets, such as Google Cardboard or Daydream View, smartphone users can take the experience that little bit further. Essentially this creates a “hands’-free” view, using your head to look around, as you would do if you were right there in London.

I believe, thanks this type of technology, crowds are set to change forever. It means any type of event which attracts a mass of people can be streamed live to the rest of the world. If it’s in another country, or if you can’t get a ticket, don’t worry. Instead of the normal broadcast view of sporting events or concerts, for example, in the very near future it will become mainstream to watch an event online as if you are in the front row, choosing your own point of view — which, let’s be honest, is what we all want! I’m sure this will be welcomed by many as you just can’t beat getting involved in the live action.