Google and the London Zoo are partnering to stream the zoo’s meerkats, Asian otters, and giant Galapagos tortoises on YouTube, but the goal is not only to broadcast adorable animals. The project is a test of the use of white space–small gaps in the radio spectrum that exist between television transmissions–to track endangered species in the wild and protect them from poachers.
Last year, the London Zoo won a Google Global Impact Award grant worth $800,000 to fund its initiative to create a network of sensors and cameras in Kenya’s most popular poaching areas. The zoo hopes these cameras will utilize white space in Africa to transmit data farther and faster than is currently possible with satellites.
Scientists hope white space can also be used to provide Internet access to rural areas, stream video wirelessly (as in this case), create next-generation Wi-Fi networks, monitor flood sensors, and more. Google cofounder Larry Page called white space “Wi-Fi on steroids” back in 2008.
But if all you care about is getting your daily dose of cute, you can watch the London Zoo animals here.