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Your tech needs for inauguration weekend

Molly Wood Jan 20, 2017
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Chairs are set out on the National Mall by the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Donald Trump will be sworn in today as the 45th president of the United States.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Thousands of Americans are gathering in Washington, D.C. this week, either to see President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration or to protest with the Women’s March on Washington. And with the crowds, comes their technology—  cell phones, tablets, cameras. Here’s what to expect in D.C. this weekend: 

New banned items

There are at least two new banned items at inauguration: selfie sticks and drones.

Selfie sticks have been banned at many large public events — from the Rio Olympics to Pope Francis’s visit to New York City — due to safety concerns. The Trump inauguration and Women’s March join the list of selfie-stick-banning events.

Drones are never allowed in Washington, D.C., but the United States Secret Service wants to make it clear that they’re banned for inauguration weekend. They issued a press release earlier this month, listing fines of up to $1,414 for individuals and up to $32,140 for companies that violate this federal no drone law.

Extra cell service

Cell service is a big problem anywhere there are large crowds, like concerts, protests and sporting events.

To prepare for the inauguration and protests in D.C., cell carriers like AT&T and Verizon brought in COWs, an acronym for “cells on wheels.” These temporary mobile infrastructures are designed to boost cell service in crowded areas.

Comcast will also open its 6,800 Wi-Fi hotspots to the public. 

Online streaming

Major TV and radio organizations will offer streams of the inauguration. Video will also be available directly from the White House website, Twitter, and Facebook Live. This year viewers can even stream the event in virtual reality and 360-degree video on the USA Today’s YouTube channel.

Virtual reality at the inauguration may be new, but streaming is not. Americans have been able to watch the inauguration online for 20 years. Back in 1997, Bill Clinton’s inaugural speech was the first to be live-streamed. 

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