The London Zoo have announced they will live-stream a selection of the their animals on YouTube 24/7.
The Zoo partnered with YouTube’s parent company Google and the U.K.’s communications regulator Ofcom to test a new type of wireless communication technology while simultaneously introducing us to the next big thing(s) on YouTube – Meerkats, otters, and tortoises.
The cameras at the zoo are linked to special equipment that sends a live video stream through small gaps that exist between the ‘over-the-air’ television frequencies, known as ‘white space,’ to Google’s offices, where it is streamed to YouTube. These frequencies are able to sustain data transmission, much like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other technologies.
The only difference is their signal is able to go through walls with ease, and can travel farther than any existing wireless data technology. If it works as expected, it could revolutionize internet access for rural communities across the U.K., and the rest of the world, offering web browsing and video streaming to those too far away to have direct access to a broadband connection.
The test at London Zoo is one of many taking place right now in the U.K. If they’re successful, Ofcom could start allowing companies to use this ‘white space’ as early as 2015.
White space was necessary in the early days of television to make sure analog signals did not “clash” – Like what happens when you hear interference on the radio. Now that most ‘over-the-air’ television signals in the U.K. are digital, that space as become redundant and companies are desperate to get their hands on as many radio and television frequencies as they can. To meet this demand, Ofcom is also planning to free up more old television and radio frequencies for the next generation of high-speed data services.