So I was visiting the BBC yesterday as you do. There was a bit of hoopla going on in reception where a man in a T shirt periodically called out phrases like “When’s Eastenders on? Whenever you like!”. This was to call attention to the recently launched Beeb White Paper “Beyond Broadcast Now”. I call it a white paper, but it was manifested in a pizza box styled like a laptop, containing many sheets of paper announcing an array of ideas and initiatives. Some I’ve heard of, others I haven’t. Some are running now, others are somewhere in the pipeline. I’ve summarised most of it here, not in full detail, simply to convey the kind of thinking that’s been going on.
BBC 3D Interactive – to provide interactive content for games platforms, targeted at the “game generation”, using fully enabled multicasting (simultaneous broadcasting over TV and internet)
Action Network – “a website to help people take action on issues that concern them, share information and run campaigns”
Augmented Reality – “a concept which allows users to create and interact with virtual, on-screen 3D objects in real time using their own hands, rather than a mouse or keyboard”
Backstage – “provides the design and develpment community with feeds of bbc.co.uk content and services to use in non-commercial websites and projects”
bbctwo – “creates a dynamic on-demand broadband space for BBC Two giving users both content highlights and the chance to engage with the channel”
BBCi+ – “allows people to watch a centrally selected list of programmes (around 50hrs per week) on their TV for up to seven days after broadcast” Undergoing trials this summer with a view to availability in 18 months.
Creative Desktop – to give BBC folk the tools to edit content from their desks, with expert support to back it up.
Creative Archive– targeted at “anyone who pays the licence fee” “Unlocks your inner broadcaster. You can now create your own shows using thousands of hours of free content from the BBC and allied broadcasters.
Electronic Radio Times – “simulates a copy of the Radio Times [programme listings magazine] on a touch screen tablet PC. When the user holds a pen down on a programme it marks it for recording, a communicates with a separate digital video recorder to set it”
Film Network – “the BBC’s interactive showcase for new British filmmakers, screening three new short films every week”
Magellan – a prototype navigational interface for TV set top boxes “serving our audiences better by making it easy for them get to content they want, whether they know exactly what they want or not”
MyBBCPlayer – to enable audiences to find, watch and listen to BBC shows via broadband, live or timeshifted. Undergoing assessment this spring with plans for an autumn launch.
Participate – a three year R&D project to develop mass participation activities through remote computers, mobile, wireless and broadband networks
Non-linear segmented content – “a way of tagging and organising any media content, allowing users to navigate around it more easily and follow their own specific interests”
Stapler/BBC Collect – “searches for and delivers pieces of BBC content related to users’ interests over any platform, so audiences will be able to create and manage their own “channels”
Wow. Wake up and smell the coffee.
Disclosure: I am doing a (paid) facilitation project for the Beeb at the moment. I’ll see if I can keep up with them.