News

Not in NYC? Apps let you ring in new year remotely

Not in NYC? Apps let you ring in new year remotely

HAPPY NEW YEAR!:Revelers can ring in the new year remotely. Photo: Associated Press

By Natasha Baker

TORONTO (Reuters) – Revelers who can’t make it to New York’s Times Square to celebrate New Year’s Eve can download an app to make sure they see the ball drop.

More than a million people from around the world flock to the famous area in midtown Manhattan which hosts one of the world’s largest New Year’s Eve celebrations. Another billion across the globe tune in on their televisions.

“It’s one moment where 100 million Americans are all doing the same thing at the same time. They’re all counting down to the same time thing,” said Jeff Straus, president of New York City-based Countdown Entertainment, which organizes the annual event.

With the Times Square Ball app for iPhone and Android, people not near a television can tune in to the festivities from their smartphones. The app features a live six-hour webcast that will be available on New Year’s Eve, with behind-the-scenes interviews, musical performances, countdowns and the fall of the Times Square Ball.

“We created the app because there’s a whole other audience that can’t be near their televisions or are overseas, but still want to be part of it and count down those final seconds with us,” said Straus.

The app will include tweets from the Times Square Ball, which will be tweeting news and photos of the event from its perch high above the crowds.

“The ball’s history goes back to 1907 when we had the first ball drop. It was basically a 5-foot (1.5-meter) ball of iron and wood with 100 125-watt light bulbs in it, which was the latest in lighting technology,” said Straus.

It has been re-designed seven times since then. Over the years, computer controls and other features like strobe lights have been added.

The ball, which has been dropped every year since 1907 except for 1942 and 1943, is now over 12 feet in diameter, weighs nearly 6 tons and is adorned with over 32,000 LED lights in varied colors, according to the Times Square Alliance, white works to improve and promote the area.

The free app also has a countdown that can be configured to different time zones and is available worldwide.

People who want to join in on the fireworks on New Year’s Eve in the London can download the free London New Year’s Eve fireworks app for iPhone and Android created by the UK-based company Vodafone.

The app overlays the fireworks on display on the banks of the River Thames onto the smartphone camera. Its app will be released on December 30 at midnight.

(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Eric Walsh)

Recent Headlines

in Viral Videos

B1G mascots ‘Shake It Off’ parody

Fresh
12-overlay3

Big Ten mascots show off their dance moves to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off."

in Entertainment

Robin gig has gone to the girls

jenamalone

The superhero sidekick is set for a sex change in the upcoming "Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice" film.

in Music

Led Zeppelin plagiarism case to be heard in Pa.

2012 Kennedy Center Honorees and members of the band Led Zeppelin, from left, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Robert Plant chat on the red carpet after arriving at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Performance and Gala Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 at the State Department in Washington.

Led Zeppelin have lost the first round in their plagiarism battle over mega-hit "Stairway to Heaven."

in Viral Videos

If ‘WALL-E’ was a Christopher Nolan film

15-overlay3

Take a look at Pixar's "Wall-E" reimagined as if it was created by the director of "The Dark Knight."

in Entertainment

Jay Leno is the funniest man in America

jayleno

The former "Tonight Show" host received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center Honors.