What is the future of radio? In a world of digital overload can the public be expected to just listen to something without any pictures? Is the radio era over? The Institute of Radiophonic Evolution (IRE), based in South Mimms, is working hard to give radio a bright future.
Their secret work is revealed in these programmes which draw on conference calls, voice notes and life-logs, to tell a compelling and strange story of the technological lengths to which the researchers will go to keep radio relevant.
Instead of just adding pictures, the lab is working on ways to transmit smells, vibrations, and 3D images, as well as a way of putting radio into listeners' very brains!
It sounds impossible, but the IRE boffins believe in making the impossible audible. And that's their motto.
Each week a jiffy bag of sound files arrives at BBC Radio 4. We listen to the contents to discover what backroom boffins Luke Mourne and Professor Trish Baldock (ably assisted by Shelley - on work experience) have been up to.
In this week's episode, they discover that radio can transmits smells and use them to enhance the output of the Radio Drama Department.
Pianist: Mike Woolley
Written by Jerome Vincent and Stephen Dinsdale
Producer David Blount
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.