BBC R&D

Posted by Andrew Nicolaou on , last updated

This week seems to be full of projects being finished and new ones being started and explored across the IRFS team. Here are the highlights.

Vista-TV - exploring applications of real-time audience data

Status: building infrastructure

Chris Newell's exploring the capabilities of the ViSTA-TV project stream engine, based on Storm, an open source distributed real-time computation system. The stream engine gives us the ability to process audience logs and subtitle streams in real-time, rather than offline as in previous work, to create interesting live services and applications. Libby's been getting to grips with the Vista-TV code and fixing a few bugs.

World Service archive and ABC-IP - archives with machine-generated and crowd-sourced metadata

Status: researching

While Chris L has been busy fixing bugs and improving the search, Pete has been showing the World Service Radio archive prototype and some wireframes of new potential improvements to some volunteer test-subjects and this has helped identify user-experience issues, inform next steps and inspire future features. Meanwhile, Tristan has been doing some research and writing with Michael around tagging, controlled vocabularies, participation and agency.

Also, Yves deployed our first try at a topic extraction service for web pages.

Snippets - finding, snipping and sharing moments from TV programmes

Status: polishing

Rob and Chris F have been focusing on perfecting the new Genre Filter as part of the Snippets search faceting upgrade that the Snippets team have all been working on. It’s going well although some parts might need design tweaking.

FI-Content - exploring identity and personal data on connected TVs

Status: quantifying

Barbara, Chris G and George were thinking about revenue streams on the user data dashboard and authentication use cases that we prototyped during the project itself. They were trying to quantify how we’d exploit the work we’ve done so far and what the possible market impact of such things might be. Not easy.

R&D website - re-building the R&D website

Status: bug fixing

Chris Needham and Andrew N were completing the last few features and bug fixes on the beta version of the R&D website. Olivier’s been pushing the project through some of the last process hurdles between us and the release, planning the next steps, and trying to get more content in before we launch the beta in public.

Internet of Things - researching how the IoT works for media, entertainment, storytelling, games and toys

Status: exploring

Vicky and Jasmine are continuing to explore and prototype ideas framed on our research questions: - How can we give non-digital objects behaviours to make stories more captivating and absorbing? - How can we make media management more physical? - How can we bring characteristics of theatre into the home? - How can we get our audience to shape and build their own experience?

Cefn Hoile of Shrimping.it will be helping us to prototype some of these use cases.

Out and about

Status: talking and showing

Bristol: Theo and Libby attended Digital Bristol technology day - showing off the team’s work to others in the BBC and beyond.

Paris: Olivier participated in a workshop organised by Europeana and INA on opening data and content for cultural institutions. It was great to see that the BBC had a lot to share about how we’ve dealt with opening our data and APIs, and a lot to learn from the vanguard of open museums and libraries.

London: Theo and Tristan went to the UCL HCI MSc project day to present some project briefs to the students. The challenges were: Authenticating TV, Navigation with Noisy Data, Agency and Participation and Exploring the Mood of Programmes.

Interesting links