New CBBC pilots from BBC Connected Studio
Hello BBC Internet blog! I’m Robin Cramp, the project manager for BBC Connected Studio and welcome to the first of many blogs providing insight into the pilots we’ve taken forward as part of the year one of the programme.
My colleague (my way of saying boss without actually saying it) Adrian Woolard set the scene in his recent blog post suggesting that my next series of posts will be "rather entertaining as well as informative".
I can manage the well informed bit but the entertaining element is slightly more subjective. Let’s give it a bash.
Whilst the ‘day job’ sees me as the PM for Connected Studio I have picked up the additional role of event MC along the way.
If you’ve been involved you’ll understand how I endeavour to keep the pace up throughout the day by throwing sweets in an unorthodox fashion, garnering support through raised hands and shouting yeah, yeah, c’mon all too often. All in the vain hope that we can make the Connected Studio events as informative and fun as possible, especially during those potentially nerve racking pitching session that teams go through.
The events and jumping around is just one facet of my role, with principle responsibility to get the pilots that are successfully chosen from each of the Connected Studios realised.
We’ll be making some of the earlier pilots public very soon for you to test and play with but in the meantime here’s a sneak insight into the three pilots being developed for CBBC.
EEZL by Peekabu (indie)
This pilot addresses the desire for increased sign-in to the CBBC website whilst encouraging more children to get involved in online activities.
When registering for an account, users will be prompted to draw a picture, either on the site with a web (or tablet) app or in the real world using paint and paper. In turn they create an account using that image.
To sign-in, they just hold their picture up to their webcam and the EEZL system recognizes the image and signs them in automatically, without the child needing to remember complex passwords or usernames.
Now I hear you saying ‘anyone could just draw a picture and login into my account’ well rest assured that the team over at Peekabu have thought that through and have some fool proof ways to ensure that doesn’t happen, quite cool!
In addition, adding friends is a simple as snapping a photo of their drawing and them doing the same for yours. The resulting process is fast, fun, works on any device with a camera (or upload functionality), avoids tricky mobile keyboards and makes a reliable authentication token out of the art that hangs on the fridge.
Predicto Machino by MadeByPi (indie)
Predicto Machino with the help of Hacker, star of CBBC show Hacker Time, makes far-fetched and comedic predictions about the user which they are invited to correct.
By doing this they build an anonymous profile of themselves which is stored in a cookie or optionally against a BBC iD login which then informs recommendations for other CBBC content they may like.
Animation, sound effects and voice-overs are used to entertain and encourage children to continue to interact ( as long as the talent isn’t committed to be in Hollywood during the build, just one of the real life realities presented to pilots teams) whilst a set of freshly generated content is displayed to the user each time they correct a prediction.
At any point the user can click on the suggested content links to visit other pages on the CBBC site. The user can return to the application in the future where they can continue to interact with the questions or view more suggested content.
The pilot provides a fresh way for the audience to find new content through the playful tool that is Predicto Machino.
Music Mashup by Young (indie)
Now these guys from Manchester based Young have some amazing knitwear, enough to brighten anyone’s day. I’m a sucker for good jumpers and the team didn’t disappoint when they presented their Music Mashup idea.
Music Mashup is a visual and audio sequencer with a library housing 100's of clips from CBBC programmes and unique animations which users can ‘mash-up’.
Once the user has loaded the tool up with content by dragging and dropping in their chosen combination of clips they can change the sequences, swap videos and add effects.
When they save their creations it will automatically create a short music video to accompany their Mash Up that users can view, share and 'like' within the Mash Up chart.
The Music Mash Up game caters for both a younger and older demographic, allowing those with a higher ability level to be more creative with their sequencer. The team will ensure that even the most ‘creative’ child can make wonder sounding Music Mashups.
These three projects all came from the CBBC Connected Studio, next week we will take a look at BBC Sport where four ideas were taken into pilot stage.
Robin Cramp is the project manager for BBC Connected Studio.