As a concept, live video streaming is hardly a new development within online systems. Having been based on the basic operations of televisions that had existed for so many years prior, the idea of live video streaming was an expansion of existing technologies more than anything else.
By virtue of the limited bandwidth at the time, this form of viewing was always going to be a matter of when, and not if. This when first occurred on June 24, 1993, as the band Severe Tire Damage streamed a performance to an unknown but, presumably, small number of viewers.
While the audio within this streaming was surprisingly legible, the video suffered from the predictable and unavoidable issues of low resolution and frame-rate. As a historical achievement, however, this development was more important than any would realise.
Today, live-streaming has become a cornerstone of internet entertainment, from the formerly gaming-centric bastion of Twitch to YouTube, and many major news outlets. What’s coming next, however, could be the real game-changer.
More Interactive Opportunities.
The newer opportunities that are becoming available we find, as we so often do, in the world of gaming. This type of technology has seen immense popularity in the online casino industry, with games like roulette, where players can play realistic games with actual human croupiers and alongside other live players, right from the comfort of their homes.
Live streaming on this front has become an enormous focus for the iGaming industry especially. Major developers for this software like NetEnt even base acquisitions around this concept. This was the case with their recent purchase of fellow slot and live-casino developer Red Tiger Gaming, according to their Q4 2019 report. Already popular, this appears to be a still rapidly-growing trend.
Of course, there are many other types of games that offer similar experiences, both from online casinos to the likes of online Dungeons and Dragons, but the concept remains the same. Long-distance in-person gaming is now a reality and, by utilising this framework and upcoming technologies, this bar could be raised to an entirely new level.
Next-Gen Tech Potential
When considering possibilities for the next generation of this form of gaming, we need to consider the contributions made from both viewing and streaming itself.
In terms of viewing, it is the continuing improvement of the technology surrounding virtual and augmented reality headset devices which will likely drive a new level of engagement. As they currently stand, the most advanced of AR and VR devices are already incredibly impressive, but they still suffer from limitations regarding limited mobility and field of view. Combine this with high hardware requirements and bulky, uncomfortable setups, and their lack of dominance at this point becomes all the more understandable.
The next generation of devices, however, are already slated to be smaller and more self-contained, while also offering improved viewing quality.
Aiding in this will be better quality capture devices such as cameras. Utilising multiple-camera setups and advanced artificial intelligence, it will be possible to effectively live stream three-dimensional videos directly into a person’s virtual or augmented world.
In essence, this would work as a type of live-streaming photogrammetry, a technology which, itself, has seen significant advancement over the last few years.
The End Result
Combined, these technologies would allow a level of long-distance communication between people on a scale never before experienced. In a few short years, it could be wholly possible to ‘physically’ hang out with your friends in your living room, even if they’re sat on the other side of the world. Superimposing models in AR is already very achievable on a simple scale today, so future improvements will undoubtedly be even more impressive.
Whether gaming or just spending time with your family, this next-generation of promise could fundamentally change the nature of long-distance relationships of all kinds. It might be a few years away yet but, make no mistake, this new world is coming.