Over the course of the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly every facet of our daily lives. The way we work, commute, socialise with our friends, study, and move about the world has changed significantly. Although it has been a difficult time of upheaval, it has also shown that human ingenuity will always find a way to innovate and come up with solutions to new problems.
Rather than retreating into isolation, many people have turned to technology to help stay connected with others, while staying physically apart. While there is still uncertainty about what 2021 will bring, one thing we can rely on is the fact that innovative tech platforms will be there to help us stay connected. Below are some of the top platforms and technological innovations which have taken centre stage over the course of the last year as we all work to bring light and laughter into 2021.
The rise of video conferencing and calls
If you are able to work from home, you undoubtedly spent much of last year jumping between Zoom calls, Slack channels, and meetings held on Microsoft Teams. However, video conferencing, video calling, and video chat rooms have all been used in the last year for social purposes more than ever. More than ever, families are connecting for weekly group calls over Zoom, friend groups are hosting virtual game nights, and people are even having their first dates together via video calls.
Virtual games are expanding as well, as many companies like Jackbox Games have launched new product lines which are ideal for playing with a group of friends on a Zoom or Skype call. As the video conferencing software improves and consumer interest increases, you can be sure that you will be invited to more video calls, games nights, and virtual parties.
Online casinos and gambling
As the pandemic took hold, non-essential businesses had to shut their doors, and this included casinos and bookmakers in most places. Many gamblers who had only ever played in brick-and-mortar casinos decided to give online casinos and gambling apps and websites a try for the first time during the pandemic. After trying some of the different games offered on online casino platforms, many gamblers have found that they have just as much fun playing online games and will likely continue to play on online casinos after the brick-and-mortar casinos have reopened.
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Although many of the games offered on online casino apps and sites are solo games, live dealer card games can give individuals the experience of being back on a casino floor, playing casino games, and trading jokes with the dealer or with your fellow players. Live dealer games are not exactly the same as playing card games on the casino floor, but they provide gamblers with a very similar experience, and you can play your favourite casino card games from the comfort of your sofa!
Gaming and streaming platforms
Another way that people have managed to find community and socialize online has been through streaming platforms. Streaming platforms like Twitch feature hundreds of different gamers who play games for hours on end and chat with their followers. Often the gamers spend a lot of their time just chatting with their followers, rather than playing games, and many gamers have developed communities on their platform.
These platforms have allowed many people to connect, chat, and develop new, virtual friendships. They also allow people the opportunity to have a player chatting away in the background, in order to gain some comfort from the ambient conversation.
These are just a few of the many different ways that people have managed to stay connected online over the course of the pandemic. As the lockdowns go on and we wait for the rollout of the vaccine, it is undeniable that we will see new, innovative platforms and measures develop and evolve.