Technology has put a whole host of possibilities at our fingertips in recent years, as it has given us a chance to change everything; from how we organise our lives to how we communicate with friends and loved ones.
It has also transformed the way that we see the world – and that has been highlighted by a new project set up by the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) via Facebook.
Fun from home
Earlier this month, Time Out reported on the news that the JNTO is launching live-streams of attractions in the country on its official Facebook page.
The series is putting a particular spotlight on locations outside of major cities, with the first taking place at the end of October and focusing on Shizuoka. Another is set to feature Okinawa, and will also include a live performance of a traditional folk song. It is anticipated that the streams will continue on a monthly basis all the way until March next year.
Time Out explains that the initiative has been launched as part of the ‘Fun From Home’ campaign, and it could be argued that the move really builds on what other tourist hotspots and attractions have been doing in recent years.
When we think of streaming, we tend to predominantly consider the technology’s impact in the worlds of film, TV, and music. This is perhaps highlighted by the major attention given to big announcements in those areas, such as the recent news that Spotify now supports native streaming on the Apple Watch.
However, the reports about Japan clearly show how streaming has become a vital presence in the tourism world in recent years as well. For instance, we are able to see many of the most famous landmarks on the planet through live webcams these days, for example, with EarthCam offering multiple angles on Times Square. It is far from the only iconic New York location to get that treatment, however, as the same site also offers a look at places including the Brooklyn Bridge.
#PenguinWatch continues at Dublin Zoo 🐧🐧
— Dublin Zoo (@DublinZoo) March 2, 2018
A number of attractions have also taken the step of providing live streams, with zoos particularly embracing the idea. Dublin Zoo’s website gives people the chance to look inside some of its key enclosures, including those related to its elephants and penguins. Finally, while nothing will ever compare to the real thing, thrill-seekers have the chance to experience rollercoasters virtually via theme park webcams and videos such as those featured on MyLiveStreams.com.
Changing offline activities
Such trends are arguably evidence of how traditionally offline pursuits have been transformed and adapted in the digital age, with streaming, in particular, changing how we access and enjoy certain activities.
— billie eilish (@billieeilish) October 24, 2020
Another area where streaming has had a major impact in recent years has been in live music performances, with many artists choosing to broadcast events online. A notable one in recent weeks involved Billie Eilish, with her streamed performance featuring striking visuals including spiders and sharks, also getting strong reviews from media outlets.
Amazon also recently confirmed that it was allowing artists to connect their Twitch profiles to pages on Amazon Music, with that meaning that fans do not have to switch between the two when accessing a concert stream. Elsewhere, streaming has also had a transformative impact on the online casino experience, as various brands are now using the technology to offer ‘live casino’ services to their players. Many different games are offered in the format, for example, with Betway featuring live roulette and blackjack among a number of experiences. As the site explains, the concept means players can interact with real-life croupiers via a video link, as games are streamed in real-time across the globe.
It could also be stated that the simple act of watching sport with friends has been changed by streaming. BT Sport is no stranger to fresh innovations, as it has dabbled in the world of 8K broadcasts in recent years. However, in August it launched Watch Together, a service that allows app users to watch sport in a split-screen view so they can chat with friends at the same time. Similar trends have of course been seen in video gaming, with online gameplay and services like Twitch giving us fresh ways to interact with each other and follow players in action.
An intriguing future awaits
All in all, it is an incredible time in the technology sphere, and streaming, in particular, seems to be having an impact on a whole host of different areas.
The move by JNTO highlights how it has become a big part of tourism, as well as in many other areas that have always been synonymous with the offline experience. It will be fascinating to see what other uses of the technology might emerge in the months ahead and how it may continue to transform our lives.