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Hacks & Hackers BBC R&D

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Hacks & Hackers BBC R&D

  1. 1. BBC Research & Development Hacks and Hackers October 2011 George Wright, Head of R&D Prototyping @georgie Future Media © BBC MMXI
  2. 2. What I'll talk about • Intro to BBC R&D and my team • How we work • Who we work with • What we do • Some recent projects • Working with us • Corporate R&D in the Web era • Questions Future Media © BBC MMXI
  3. 3. BBC R&D • 160 staff across 3 labs • Been in existence since 1930 • Incorporated by Royal Charter: “..maintain BBC’s position as a centre of excellence for research and development in broadcasting and other means for the electronic distribution of audio, visual and audiovisual material, and in related technologies.” • “The UK's NASA” (House of Lords Select Committee on the BBC Charter Review 2005-6) Future Media © BBC MMXI
  4. 4. Some highlights of BBC R&D's history  Noise-cancelling mic (1927)  VHF/FM transmitter(1945) • Colour TV (1954) • Digital TV standards proposed (1964) • Digital audio recorder/playback demonstrated (1971) • CEEFAX (1974) • NICAM (1986) • BBC Internet service (1989-1995) • Multicast internet streams (2004) • Freeview HD (2008) Future Media © BBC MMXI
  5. 5. Who my team are • Prototyping and Audience Experience section within BBC R&D • Working at the audience end of the broadcast chain • Full range of skills (Engineers, designers, producers) Future Media © BBC MMXI
  6. 6. What we do • We build new prototypes, demonstrators and services across all digital platforms • To try things out • To explore things • To solve problems • Focus on user-facing things • Also, protocols and standards for emerging platforms • Engineering and UX/HCI research • 5yr time horizon Future Media © BBC MMXI
  7. 7. Who we work with • BBC programme makers (Dr Who, Springwatch) • Mobile and TV Platforms product development teams • Academia • SMEs • Collaborative partners (TSB, EU FP7, EU PPP) Future Media © BBC MMXI
  8. 8. A typical short term project • Research Talking, reading, data • Exploration Workshops, ideas, sketches, proofs-of-concept • Build lo-fi to hi-fi • Test Lab studies, remote home trials • Review and repeat if necessary • Average 8 weeks, with exceptions Future Media © BBC MMXI
  9. 9. Autumnwatch Viewing Companion Future Media © BBC MMXI
  10. 10. Autumnwatch Viewing Companion Future Media © BBC MMXI
  11. 11. In-depth: ABC-IP • Automated Broadcast Content Interlinking Project • TSB funded • What can we do with the World Service English language archive? • Working with an SME • Making sense of a massive archive Future Media © BBC MMXI
  12. 12. ABC Future Media © BBC MMXI
  13. 13. In depth: Twitter firehose • Granted access to the Twitter firehose • Technical opportunity=Open usage question • Workshops, discussions, existing work in this space • How can we track Twitter conversations to build something useful? • Disaggregate links (bit.ly, bbc.in etc) • Build service for colleagues and end users • Massive dataset • “Needle in haystack” Future Media © BBC MMXI
  14. 14. Future Media © BBC MMXI
  15. 15. P2P-Next: large scale collaborative project Future Media © BBC MMXI
  16. 16. In depth: multi-broadcaster, device ODM, worldwide standardisation project: RadioDNS and RadioTAG Future Media © BBC MMXI
  17. 17. RadioTAG in action Photo James Cridland james.cridland.net Future Media © BBC MMXI
  18. 18. Future Media © BBC MMXI
  19. 19. We work in the open Site http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/prototyping Blog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/rd Code: http://github.com/bbcrd Weeknotes http://bbc.in/rdweeknotes White papers http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/publications/ Conferences (IBC, W3C etc) Standards bodies (W3C, DVB) Future Media © BBC MMXI
  20. 20. Issues and questions Corporate R&D traditionally has a different pace to it 30 years ago, competition came after 5-25 years of preparation (Channel 4, BSkyB, commercial radio) Now, a service can be conceived, developed, tested, deployed and acquired in <12 months Many new user-facing services come from the West Coast Most are either PPU or ad-supported Where does this leave BBC R&D? Future Media © BBC MMXI
  21. 21. How do you work with us? Apply for jobs :) (jobs.bbc.co.uk) Hack on our stuff (github.com/bbcrd) Take part in the debate (@bbcprototyping, I am @georgie) Come to our hackdays Become a collaborative partner (TSB, FP7, PPP) Build cool stuff yourself (free software pls) and share with us – we may hack on it with you Future Media © BBC MMXI

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