The BBC has teamed up with a number of universities across the UK, including the University of Bath, to research interaction and user experiences across its platforms.
The partnership will explore the potential of new forms of content and interaction in a multi-platform world alongside new ways of producing media that will help make content more accessible to all audiences.
The research outcomes will be shared via large-scale pilots and prototypes with the industry to encourage wider audience-focused innovation, help define open standards and support the creative industries in producing engaging content in the future.
The technical scope of the partnership covers:
- The User Experience of an IP Broadcasting System: developing user-centred services across multiple platforms to help advance public service broadcasting in the digital age.
- Designing for New Interaction: Moving beyond gesture and voice to develop new ways of controlling and displaying digital content for more natural and engaging interfaces.
- Sustainable Approaches to User Capability: Allowing the industry to meet the changing needs of older users, young children and people with disabilities in accessing digital media.
- New Production Interface Technologies: Using novel interface and interaction technologies in new ways to give production teams the most creative and effective ways to craft new forms of content.
The initiative builds on the BBC Research & Developments’ strong history of industry and academic collaboration, which includes the Audio Research Partnership and a strategic partnership with UCL, by establishing another centre of excellence for research into areas of strategic importance to the BBC and the wider industry.
Controller of BBC R&D Matthew Postgate said: “This is an exciting partnership that allows us to explore how audiences could engage with new types of content in the future, and how we can better make it available to them. By bringing together a world-class team of experts from academia and BBC R&D, we aim to stimulate innovation that not only benefits the BBC and our audiences, but also the wider industry.”
Professor Stanton Fraser of The University of Bath added: “The University of Bath brings a strong base of interdisciplinary Human Computer Interaction research to this partnership. We are excited about sharing expertise, and university researchers will be based both at Bath and at MediaCityUK from next month, studying new content around children’s experience.”
The academic partners also include The University of Dundee, UCL (University College London), Newcastle University, The University of Nottingham and Swansea University, which have all committed to support the initiative for at least four years.