FutureFive New Zealand logo
Consumer technology news from the future
Story image

Times Square brings New Year's Eve to homes around the globe

By Catherine Knowles
Thu 31 Dec 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

People across the globe will come together to celebrate New York's first ever virtual New Year's Eve at the close of 2020.

Organisers of the New Year's Eve Ball Drop Celebration are bringing the world's biggest party to homes around the world, live and direct from Times Square.

Jamestown, owner of One Times Square home of the New Year's Eve Ball, has collaborated with Ultimate Gamer, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Samsung, and others to create a virtual New Year's Eve experience to allow people to ring in the New Year safely in the time of COVID-19.

To mark this occasion, US mayors from Atlanta, Birmingham, Boston, Charleston, Charlottesville, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Savannah, and Seattle along with mayors and leaders from Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and Spain are joining the festivities to help New York.

People around the globe can start the festivities today by downloading the NYE app to enter the virtual world of Times Square.

On December 31, viewers can tune in for an all-night live broadcast, presented by David Osmond, host of award-winning television series Wonderama, featuring talent and greetings from world leaders and families.

Event organisers are inviting families from around the world to post video messages on Instagram describing their hopes for 2021.

A select few who post videos and tag @OneTimesSquareNYC and #WonderamaWishes may also be chosen to speak with David Osmond in the coming days and have their message featured during the live broadcast.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says, “New Yorkers are excited for a fresh start in 2021, and we'll ring in the New Year by doing what we do best: looking out for one another.

"We're keeping our city safe by forgoing large gatherings, and I know this dynamic virtual programming will still make this New Year's Eve a night to remember.”

Mayor de Blasio will push the crystal button on the main stage in the centre of Times Square, which signals the lowering of the Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year's Eve Ball.

Historically, he has been joined by special guests on the mainstage for this moment. This year, due to onsite social distancing protocols, guests will not appear on stage with the Mayor.

This year each guest and their family will represent the Everyday Heroes of 2020 and will watch the event from a private, physically distanced viewing area.

Times Square Alliance president Tim Tompkins says, “New York has always been a global city and Times Square New Year's Eve a global celebration, so we are pleased to join with mayors from around the world to virtually celebrate together and to say goodbye finally! to 2020.”

Jamestown president Michael Phillips says, “Here in New York, One Times Square is the place where people mark the world’s biggest moments. It is also the place where a million-plus people gather each year to celebrate New Year's Eve.

"When it became clear to us, the Times Square Alliance, and our partners in the city and the state, that this celebration would not be possible this year, we turned our attention to creating a new platform that enables everyone, everywhere to join us virtually in Times Square.

"For us, this was a simple decision. Jamestown, as a steward of New Year's Eve, had a responsibility to bring people together, in a safe and socially distanced way, while making sure the time-honored tradition of ringing in the New Year didn’t get lost in 2020.”

Everything you need to know about the Virtual New Year's Eve

Jamestown has created a gamified New Year's Eve experience to bring the look, feel, and iconic celebrations from Times Square to people around the globe.

People can create their own personalised avatar to enter and explore the virtual world of Times Square in a year when they can't be there in person.

For those who want to dance it out, take in nature, or experience zero gravity, VNYE has three games where users can collect celebratory confetti points to outfit avatars.

Gamers and esports fans can head to the Ultimate Gamer Lounge to connect to exclusive content and giveaways.

Music fans can view exclusive performances by emerging musicians Alex Boy, Armani White, and Chloe Gilligan.

The experience also features a multimedia art exhibition, Hi-Resolution.

The 60-piece collection from 45+ digital and contemporary artists including Shyama Golden, Molly Soda, Jeanette Getrost, and Ines Alpha focuses on setting intentions for the coming year.

Finally, on December 31, tune in for a Livestream from Times Square for the countdown to midnight and the iconic Ball Drop Celebration.

People can also check out Twitch as creators share the NYE broadcast on their channels, choose a view of Times Square from multiple camera feeds, and watch New Year's celebrations from around the world - including the International Space Station through the EarthCam Rolling Live feed.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Financial results
Margins & revenues up at New Zealand arm of Acer Computer
We look at the local financial statements of Taiwanese manufacturer Acer Computer Inc.
Story image
Design
Hands-on review: Phillips Hue starter kit
The set-up was one of the simplest I have ever had to do. It is also where the products shine. I was able to connect the bridge, the three lightbulbs and the strip within 10 min.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review – CleanMyMac X utility for macOS
We get hands-on with a useful utility that macOS users never thought they needed but probably do.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Fobia – St. Dinfna Hotel
When it comes to horror video games, they usually need to have a good balance between suspense and a little bit of action.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The link between cybersecurity, extremist threat and misinformation online in Aotearoa
Long story short, it's often the case that misinformation, threat and extremism link closely to cybersecurity issues and cyber harm.
Story image
Terramaster
TerraMaster launches its T6-423 Professional NAS with TOS 5 OS
Shenzhen-based data storage manufacturer, TerraMaster, has launched the T6-423 6-bay tower NAS.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Adobe launches AI-powered updates to Photoshop and Lightroom
Adobe says the updates use Adobe Sensei AI and machine learning to simplify complex workflows and streamline cross-device collaboration.
Story image
Cloud
Apple improves Mac operating system with latest offering
Apple has unveiled the latest version of its desktop operating system, macOS Ventura, providing users with tools for greater productivity.
Story image
Gaming
AMD introduces FSR 2.0 giving gaming GPUs a boost
Not only have AMD proudly announced their new line-up of Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards, but the company has also unveiled the first games to support its FSR 2.0 technology.
Story image
Design
Hands-on review: Samsung S22 Ultra
I have been impressed by the functions Samsung packed into this phone. I did actually make one phone call on this phone, in between trying out as many of its other uses that I could pack in.
Story image
N4L
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Gaming
Game review: The Quarry (PC)
Supermassive Games channel 1980s teen horror movies with their latest suspense-filled cinematic adventure, The Quarry.
Story image
Christchurch
Enable launches free Wi-Fi in Christchurch city centre
Fibre broadband provider, Enable, and the Christchurch City Council have launched their new Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service in the central city. 
Story image
Cloud
Hisense launches in New Zealand with new product range
Consumer electronics and home entertainment brand Hisense has launched in New Zealand, bringing its range of TVs, refrigeration, and laundry products to Kiwi customers.
Story image
Gaming
Game preview: The Quarry (PC)
On playing a bit of The Quarry, I began to understand why the game has got its own release rather than just being part of The Dark Pictures Anthology.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: JBL Quantum 610 Wireless
The new Quantum 610 gaming headset is the latest addition to JBL’s Quantum range and the successor to its popular Quantum 600 model.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60
Philips’ range of Hue smart lighting promises to make any home a smart home. Techday’s Darren Price checks out the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60.
Story image
Wireless
ComCom finds NZ broadband compares well with Australia
A new report published by the Commerce Commission has found New Zealand's Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) compares well to Australia's National Broadband Network.
Story image
Web Development
Whitecliffe fosters careers for the future of tech
Do you want a career in Information Technology, Networking, Web Development, Software Development, or are you looking to upskill?
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Morphée
Life in the twenty-first century has become a 24-hour affair. Morphée promises to help restore some balance to your life.
Story image
Apple
Apple’s watchOS 9 and its new features, including a medications app
The new watch0S 9 gives users more watch faces, an updated workout and sleep app and a brand new medications app.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: 16GB PNY XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X 3600MHz DDR4
PNY sent over its 16GB XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X 3600MHz CL16 DDR4 module kit for testing. The kit contains two 8GB dual-channel modules with RGB lighting.
Story image
Cloud
Google announces new version of Chromecast with remote features
Google has announced its newest version of Chromecast, featuring a variety of new features and a new look.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft and Manaaki Whenua to map NZ's forest cover change
Microsoft and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, are teaming up to develop improved detection of land use and forest cover change in New Zealand.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Cloud
Apple unveils M2 with 50% more memory bandwidth than M1
Compared to M1, M2 has an 18% faster CPU, a 35% more powerful GPU, a 40% faster Neural Engine, and delivers 50% more memory bandwidth and up to 24GB of fast unified memory.
Story image
Film review
Film review: Jurassic World Dominion
This movie is what happens when you cross a lot of hungry dinos with humanity trying desperately to redeem itself for a mistake, and boy does it try.
Story image
Cloud
Apple announces new developer tools and APIs for better app experiences
The new announcement encompasses new tools, technologies and APIs that the company says are designed to help developers create better and more involved experiences for their users.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Publicis Sapient and The Man Cave drive digital transformation for mental health
Publicis Sapient and The Man Cave are joining forces to help support the mental health and wellbeing of young men around the world.
Story image
Skills shortage
Tech salaries increase as skills shortage inflates expectations
More technology professionals will receive a pay rise this coming financial year than last, with skills shortages creating a once-in-a-career market.
Story image
InternetNZ
Govt must step up to police social media - InternetNZ boss
A technology industry leader is urging the government not to shy away from policing social media platforms in New Zealand.
Story image
Cloud
Apple reveals new iOS 16 features set to enhance sharing and communication
Apple has unveiled an all-new Lock Screen experience and new ways to share and communicate in iOS 16.
Story image
Cloud
Linktree Marketplace creates new commerce options for creators
Linktree has launched Linktree Marketplace, a new forum for users to discover all of Linktree's partners, Link Apps, and integrations in one place.
Story image
Cloud
Apple brings redesigned MacBook Air and updated MacBook Pro to market
Apple has introduced a redesigned MacBook Air and an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro, both powered by the new M2 chip.
Story image
Privacy Commissioner
Aotearoa gets a new Privacy Commissioner: Michael Webster replaces John Edwards
Michael Webster, who is currently the Secretary of the Cabinet, will step into the Privacy Commissioner role on 5 July 2022.
Story image
Cloud
Adobe Substance 3D updates, looks to the metaverse
A look at all of Adobe's major updates for Substance 3D and how its services are enabling businesses to get metaverse ready.
Story image
Cloud
Sony expands X-Series portable speaker range with three new models
The company says the SRS-XG300, SRS-XE300 and SRS-XE200 all contain high-quality and powerful sound pressure due to X-Balanced Speaker Units.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft launches the Surface Laptop Go 2 with new features
Microsoft has introduced the new Surface Laptop Go 2, adding to the company’s growing portfolio of Surface Laptop devices.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Unknown connections: How safe is public WiFi in Aotearoa?
If it's not your own household WiFi, then who has control of your data and is your connection actually safe?
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
Electricity
Canstar finds Flick Electric NZ’s favourite provider
Canstar’s annual research to find New Zealand’s favourite electricity provider reveals Flick Electric has come out on top.
Story image
Gaming
Intel Arc A380 graphics units launched in China, global release imminent
New Intel Arc A380 graphics units are set to bring next-generation technologies to gamers and content creators in the coming months. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.