Research & Development


Device orchestration is the concept of using an orchestrated set of connected devices to reproduce or augment a media experience. To evaluate the concept applied to immersive audio experiences, an orchestrated audio drama was created and released on BBC Research & Development's public-facing trial platform.

The experience allowed users to easily connect personal devices, which reproduced sounds including speech and spot effects, ambient background sounds, and additional storyline content. The trial was evaluated through a simple questionnaire and user interaction logs. The 210 questionnaire responses suggested a positive reaction (mean rating of 4 out of 5 stars, 72% loved or liked using phones as speakers, and 80% would use the technology again). The interaction logs (for 2174 sessions) showed reasonable engagement, with 18% of sessions nearing the end of the content. For sessions lasting over 1 minute, over 60% had at least one extra device connected.

The results suggest useful strategies for optimising engagement with orchestrated experiences. There are limitations and challenges to drawing strong conclusions from large-scale trials in uncontrolled conditions (including unrepresentative sampling of the population and lack of context for logged interactions). However, benefits include larger sample sizes and greater ecological validity than in controlled laboratory testing.

This paper was presented in full at the International Congress on Acoustics 2019, Aachen, Germany, 9–13 Sept 2019.

As of publication of this white paper, The Vostok-K Incident is available to hear online.

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This publication is part of the Immersive and Interactive Content section