If there’s one type of technology that’s becoming increasingly well-known and much-used by laypeople, it’s live streaming. The darling of Facebook, Instagram, and even renowned theatre companies, it offers something that is tried and tested and yet, at the same time, remarkably fresh and original.
It’s not a new invention, regardless of how it may appear. In fact, one of the earliest live streaming platforms was Muzak, with the original patent for this technology filed in the 1920s, before the computer was even created.
Of course, for most us, the concept of streaming is inextricably linked with the internet, and the development of this type of tech is far more contemporary. Even so, it has still been in existence since the early 1990s, with garage band Severe Tire Damage broadcasting their band live over the internet in ’93.
They would not be the last to do so, but it’s only in recent years that live streaming has really taken off. Perhaps this is because it provides something we are infinitely familiar with but repackaged in a new and innovative way: a chance to see video content unedited and immediately, offering a rawer and more visceral viewer experience.
Whatever the explanation, video providers have responded admirably to this increased appetite for live footage. Here are just three of the many innovative ways they’re utilizing its unique qualities…
Live Coverage of Gaming Sessions
Platforms like Twitch and YouTube offer an interesting and inventive take on live streaming technology. Allowing both professional and hobbyist players to stream what’s happening on their screens in real-time, such sites began gaining popularity from around the mid-2010s onwards, with Twitch recording more traffic as far back as 2014 than HBO’s online service. With the most watched streamers combining expert strategies with brilliantly entertaining commentary, many have a surprisingly large following.
Live, Interactive Casino Games
Part of the thrill of throwing the dice and watching the hand of fortune unfurl before your eyes is knowing that every second counts and the result is as yet undecided. Little wonder, then, that online enterprises like Mr. Smith’s UK casino have also taken advantage of this technology to improve their offerings. Allowing gamblers to watch all of the action unfolding in real time, real cards being dealt by real people and real roulette wheels spun while the player bets on them, live streaming technology has added an undeniable element of excitement and increased accessibility to this age-old sport.
Live Theatre Broadcasts
It’s fair to say that cinemas tend to be more accessible to most people than the theatre, which perhaps explains why these two entertainment entities have combined to offer live broadcasts of stage plays, operas and ballets. Charging cinema prices for front row seats to the best and most popular productions around, they allow even the most small-town audiences to see big Broadway pieces without having to travel too far afield. Arguably providing some cultural enlightenment to those yet to be converted to the wonders of live acting, this is an unquestionably genius way to bring these two mediums together and create something magical.
Constantly changing the world around us, our ever evolving technology is being utilized in new ways every day, to create a brighter and more visceral experience for us all. With live streaming at the forefront of this latest revolution, we look forward to seeing how many other innovative uses the entrepreneurial and enterprising develop for it.