BBC R&D

Posted by Libby Miller on , last updated

This week's big event for us was the Playful Internet of Things Futures unconference held in Salford. An unconference is an event that the participants organise themselves and vote with their feet. This one was designed to "share ideas to advance IoT thinking in new domains like media, entertainment, storytelling, games and toys", and the team - splendidly led by Vicky - got a very interesting and knowledgeable group of people, mostly from outside the BBC, in one place to talk to each other...

Here’s the whiteboard of half-hour-long topics:

Whiteboard at #playiotWhiteboard at #playiot - photo by Ian Forrester

The event team were Vicky Spengler, Amy Davies, Jasmine Cox, Michael Sparks, Ian Forrester, Robin Cramp. Special thanks are also due to to Nigel Linge, Penny Allen, Liz Valentine, Brendan Crowther and Pete Warren. A few others of us from IRFS also attended the event - I particularly loved the check-in system made by Jasmine Cox and Michael Sparks, for which the waypoint code is on github.

As Pete said “It was well-attended by a broad range of people, fascinating and good fun: a real success.” - there will be a full blog post about it soon.

While in Salford, Pete also attended the UX&D awayday. Sean and Chris G visited our colleagues in R&D and TV Platforms and had very fruitful discussions on authentication and identity for internet-connected media devices.

Otherwise we’ve done quite a bit of outreach and promotion:

Chris Newell has launched an updated version of our Sibyl Recommender prototype which has a simplified user interface and uses collaborative filtering alongside the existing metadata-based filtering. You can try it and let us know what you think.

Barbara is starting work on planning a video to wrap up the work done in the FIContent project, which will form a showcase of prototypes done.

With Yves, Dom and Mark Flashman, Chris L demoed the World Service prototype at the Public Broadcaster International conference, and got lots of positive responses and connections with people from the world of Public Broadcasting. Yves also gave a talk about the prototype at INA (Institut National de l’Audio-Visuel).

Chris L also visited Google to meet two developer evangelists Sam Dutton and Chris Wilson to talk about the Web Audio API and our Radiophonics work. “It was very interesting to hear about what’s planned in Google’s implementation of the spec and how MIDI control will be become possible.” Andrew N, meanwhile, is making the Radiophonics demos work with touchscreen devices: “It’s quite hard and involves maths!”.

Work continues on Snippets: Gareth has been codifying Snippets functional requirements as Cucumber features, and James has been busy on developing acceptance tests for Redux, on which Snippets depends.

Tristan, Chris G and Rob have been thinking about the future: Tristan’s involved in various meetings about incoming projects and pondering how we can more easily share our content and data with other research institutions and how our projects fit together. Chris G has been thinking and discussing our recent set of collaborative project proposals for The EU’s ‘FP7 Call 10’ (a funding route for us).

And finally:

  • This week we welcome Matt Haynes to the team, joining IRFS as the Snippets tech lead. Welcome Matt!
  • Chris Finch helped raise money for Children in Need by losing a game of chess to a year 5 primary school pupil.

A game of chess.