Posted by Barbara Zambrini 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.

Another productive week at our office even if some of us are on holiday. You can see how dedicated we are to keep on working - even while standing :-)


This week the team has been on fire - so much work done! They have been working on the "Magic" button design and implementation across the radio and web app. For the radio product design, the first 5 case kit prototype in plastic were delivered this week while Libby has been doing some laser cutting of 4 versions in cardboard. The new branding has been implemented into the product design and also the assembling instructions for the radio kit have been completed (and look really good!). As if this was not enough, the team has created and documented personas for this project.

Home Front

Last week we had a workshop with Tristan, which revealed that people wanted to understand more about how drama audiences interact with it. As a follow up, Zillah has set up meetings with lots of people next week so we can explore more about how audiences engage and interact with dramas. Next Friday some of us will be meeting the Home Front team in Birmingham.


Following a very positive meeting with FM Sports last week, the team has continued working on generating highlights from live feeds and this week has been a significant milestone for this project.  Through repeated stress tests we assessed the robustness of the on-the-fly classification algorithm running in real-time and the results seem very promising. The Peak.js segmented video playback has been refined and we have worked on creating a poster/paper to submit for the TVX Conference in June.

Comma and Archives

This week the team integrated a new modular workflow component for media storage for internal deployments and fully tested and documented the code for Mango - an algorithms developed as part of ongoing collaboration with BBC News to help them tag their content.

Last week we mentioned Zillah recorded and edited a two hours program me on "Letters from America: the 1970s" for BBC Radio 4 extra. On the BBC Archive Blog, Zillah describes the next steps for Letters from America - digitising and restoring over 650 taped home recordings.

...and more

  • The discovery team has been iterating on a couple of internal prototypes on media discovery, and testing some of their key interaction questions with real people. Chris Newell has also been working with other teams across the BBC on evaluating recommender systems
  • We are preparing for a W3C Web of Things workshop position paper and had a meeting with colleagues from Northlab to discuss possible ideas
  • We reviewed projects of interest for CHI 2014
  • We provided support to users during the trial of Infinite Trailers for VistaTV
  • Submitted a paper for Interspeech '14 and a AHRC proposal for white-label World Service Archive
  • Received confirmation the abstract for EBU MDN workshop has been accepted