The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has made it possible for you to “ooh” and “ahh” at even more animals on YouTube. The group recently partnered with Google’s video site to livestream the London Zoo’s otter, meerkat, and Galapagos tortoise enclosures.
ZSL has set everything up so the livestream video feeds are sent through white spaces (aka vacant frequencies) in the TV spectrum to YouTube. The livestreams will be available for about two months. While this may not seem extraordinary on the surface, the Society’s goals stretch far beyond simply bringing the antics of otters to online viewers.
The livestreams are a way for the organization to figure out how these white spaces can be used by animal conservationists in the field. According to Engadget, ZSL would like to have small cameras monitoring remote locations, sending video via white spaces to aid conservationists in tracking endangered species, catching poachers, and possibly even bringing internet connections to unestablished locations. To conduct the two-month livestream trials, ZSL also partnered with Ofcom, the UK communications regulator that has tested wi-fi deliverability via white space for a while now.
Animals and YouTube have always paired well together, so it makes sense ZSL would consider the video platform for its tests. If their experiments work, we could be seeing video technology not only used to provide internet to remote areas, but also to save wildlife, thereby ensuring the cycle of cute animal videos continues on YouTube.