Posted by Olivier Thereaux on , last updated

These are weekly notes from the Internet Research & Future Services team in BBC R&D where we share what we do. We work in the open, using technology and design to make new things on the internet. You can follow us on Twitter at @bbcirfs.

Paper prototyping and technical integration on the menu this week for IRFS.


We had a very productive creative sprint on Home Front, involving Jessica Dromgoole, the drama editor, Ivan the illustrator, Andrew W, Thomas, Anthony, Michael S, Paul and Zillah.

Andrew and Ivan worked concept visuals together to support the database work Michael has done. The rest of the team focused on a first visual paper prototype showcasing how users could browse such a massive amount of content without losing the track of where they came from.


Dan and Andrew N continued work on Radiodan v2, starting a client library for Radiodan app developers and allowing the server to report errors through the client if commands fail. In addition, Dan added a test coverage report which he’s now a tiny bit obsessed with.

Cross-Platform Authentication

The Cross Platform Authentication work is going well, thanks to Michael Barroco, Chris Needham, Andy Buckingham (who is contracting with us for a while) and Robin Cooksey of Frontier Silicon.

We’ll be demonstrating a Revo Axis running Robin’s development firmware talking to Chris and Michael’s service at the EBU RadioHack day on Monday. This means we’re on track to getting the CPA work done on time and we’re on schedule to get Playlister onto real radios.


The COMMA team worked on full stack integration tests, and a refactor of our build system to look like this:

COMMA arch

If it doesn’t make any sense to you, despair not: Matt H and the team are working on a blog post explaining how it works in greater detail.

Media Discovery

This week was when most of the second phase of audience/user interviews for this project took place, and this time, we accompanied our agency experts to people’s homes.

Tim, for instance, observed the interview of a a twentysomething dancer who thought the BBC was “A channel that shows the news and stuff” and whose media habits broadly gravitated around watching short videos found via social networks, and VOD from her ISP and another major provider.

The full report on the interviews is due on Tuesday, and then we’re moving on to participatory design.

The team also had a full day’s workshop on Wednesday to continue the progress towards a tangible thing to prototype and test.

In Other News

  • Yves saw an SMPTE magazine article published (woo!), talking about the old kiwi-api. This was apparently picked at the IBC 2012 conference, but it took 2.5 years to actually publish it! Co-authored with two former - but not forgotten - members of our team: Roderick Hodgson and Chris Lowis.

This week we have a collection of links curated by Libby “in the beeping area”: