Live webcasts bring URI events into your living room

Watch Distinguished Achievement Awards ceremony live Saturday night

Thanks to the acquisition of a remarkable new technology, a wide variety of University events will now be available to view as live webcasts on your home computer.

“For those who can’t attend an event in person, especially those living far from Kingston, this is the perfect opportunity to watch it live as it happens,” said John Peterson, director of new media. “And it helps us demonstrate the wide variety of interesting cultural and educational events that happen every week on campus.”

The Division of University Advancement recently acquired several remotely controlled video cameras that can be operated from anywhere using a joystick and a laptop computer. The cameras can revolve 360 degrees and zoom and pan, so almost any event can be presented with professional production values as if many more cameras were in use.

“Rather than requiring a full crew of videographers and editors, an entire event can be produced by one person and still make a big impact,” Peterson said. “And that one person doesn’t even need to attend the event themselves.”

The technology has already been tested at events like the groundbreaking ceremony for the new College of Pharmacy building, the Big Thinkers lecture in Boston, and several lectures from this year’s Honors Colloquium. After the events are over, the videos are archived on the URI YouTube channel for viewing any time.

The next event to be webcast is the Distinguished Achievement Awards on Saturday, Oct. 17 beginning at 7:15 a.m. Visit the university’s home page for a link to the webcast.

In the weeks to come, a Live Channel button will appear on the home page directing visitors to the next live webcast of a campus event. In addition to lectures and formal events, the technology could be used to webcast concerts, theatrical productions, athletic contests, and other activities.

Those planning campus events that wish to have them webcast should contact Peterson at or 401-874-9189.

In addition to the live events, videos are also being produced regularly of other notable activities and posted to the YouTube channel. Recent videos include President Dooley throwing out the first pitch at a Boston Red Sox game; students moving in to the residence halls to start the school year; an engineering professor’s research to develop a stumble detection system for those using a prosthetic leg; and a pharmacy student video about the importance of hand washing to prevent the flu.