The BBC’s Research and Development team have published four experiments from a wider project exploring how Video on Demand services could improve content discovery and recommendations.
A full description of the initiative, dubbed ‘Tellybox’, can be found here, but in short the team is “exploring alternative futures for television, ones that both address the underlying user needs that people have for watching TV – which may include spending time with others, learning something new, or relaxing, for example – but that also take into account how people experience new technologies.
“The ultimate goal is to be able to describe the high-level characteristics of a really good experience of television in the home, and so provide direction for future technology and interface development.”
As part of the project, four research examples have been published on BBC Taster, including our favourite – a feature which lets you say how long you have spare to watch TV and then just sit back while the perfect amount of BBC Three content is served up.
The R&D team stress that none of the ideas being demoed here are planned to be implemented into BBC iPlayer and that they’re “very much a research project,” but each provides an interesting insight into what the future of telly might look like:
Tellybox: BBC Three Clock – Set how long you’ve got and the TellyBox clock will give you the perfect amount of BBC Three content to fill that hole in your life.
Tellybox: Something Something – This gives you three new, easy ways to discover wonderful BBC programmes in a way that suits you. Fancy watching something on the BBC that matches your mood? Find “something beautiful” or “something funny” on BBC iPlayer using your voice.
TellyBox: 5-2-1 – This gives you three new, easy ways to discover wonderful BBC programmes in a way that suits you. Spending more time arguing with your sofa buddy about what to watch than enjoying the show? Then we’ve got a solution for you – take it in turns to filter the list from 5 to 2 to 1.
Tellybox: Random BBC Three TV – Get random BBC Three content on your phone. Whether you’re up for something new or at a loss for what to watch – TellyBox Random BBC Three TV might land you a winner with a simple flick of your finger.