The BBC Connected Studio Challenge

As well as having a range of general Hack Day Categories, patient we also always have a number of featured Hack Day Challenges, salve that are brought to you by the organisations and companies that make the whole event possible.

This year we are pleased to share with you the BBC Connected Studio Challenge

The BBC Connected Studio Challenge: Mobile Personalisation & Immersion


About BBC Connected Studio

BBC Connected StudioConnected Studio is challenged with driving digital innovation across the BBC. With audience needs at the forefront of development, Connected Studio devises work programmes and events that lead to the production of innovative digital pilots. These programmes include workshops and creative sessions designed to guide people through the digital idea-generation process, before further support is provided to develop selected projects into pilots. Working with teams from across the BBC and external digital agencies, Connected Studio and its innovation network – as part of R&D – provide the inspiration, support and platform to help keep the BBC at the cutting edge of digital innovation, and a world leader at delivering engaging digital storytelling experiences.


The aim of this Challenge for the BBC

We’re looking for innovative new ways to serve a younger audience on the devices they spend the most time with; their smartphones. We want to do this through clever use of tech, design and editorial direction around our content and public service remit. We want to build on and extend the BBC’s unique and unrivalled content experiences, from our unique music output and world-class drama, to our well-loved soaps, unrivalled sports coverage and essential learning experiences.

We know we create some of the best-in-class linear experiences. We also want to ensure that the same applies to our smartphone, digital ones.

The aim of this Challenge for hackers

To tackle one of the following challenges during the two days of OTA15 to produce a prototype

Challenge 1: Personalised Experiences

How can we use what we know about people’s everyday digital life (where they are, what time of day it is, what language they speak, motion sensors etc) to deliver personalised, immediate and interactive experiences with the BBC via a person’s phone? How can we use data-driven design to create intelligent News recommendations? (see below for further background)

Challenge 2: Immersive Experiences

How can we offer immersive, VR/AR-like experiences to people that feel personal and interactive? What might such an experience look like? (see below for further background)

What we’re looking for?

BBC Connected Studio has the remit to innovate, pilot, and test new digital ideas for the BBC in new ways. We want to offer the opportunity to take the best ideas to get them further developed by our experts and even funded, made, and showcased on BBC Taster.

About BBC Taster

Taster-256x256BBC Taster is the public-facing platform which asks our audience to try experimental ideas from across the BBC. It was built and is run through Connected Studio and is a website that invites audiences to try, rate and share the latest digital pilots from across the BBC, showcasing a range of digital innovation tools, techniques and content. Pilots that have been developed through the Connected Studio process are tested using this platform.

What’s in it for you?

We’ll provide expertise to help shape the best ideas with the teams, and get them into a ‘ready state’ for submission to our pilot process. If selected against judging criteria success will see ideas funded to make a live pilot on BBC Taster and tested with our audiences.


Find out more at the BBC Connected Studio Workshop Session

Friday 25th September, 2015 – 12:15pm to 1:15pm in Marquee 1.

Further Background to the Challenges


Challenge 1 – Further Background

Within a smartphone, there’s lots of data that allow us to enhance people’s experience of content or to bring stories to life. We’re interested in how we can harness that information to make News more seamless, relevant and unique for the end users.

  • For example think of a location context – what might an experience look like on a commute to work, rather than sitting back on the sofa watching the TV
  • How might the time of the day inform how we consume content on a mobile?
  • Maybe smartphone peripherals like wearable tech could produce different experiences to enhance content
  • Could native functionality provide different context for consuming BBC News content?
  • What impact does location have on the relevance of Breaking News?


Challenge 2 – Further Background

We have seen developments in 360 filming, and games engine driven immersive experiences. These give people new ways to watch, participate and interact with the world – a more human perspective. We would like to see how these experiences might be made more personal. What might people experience from us that they would be compelled to talk about to their friends?

  • VR/AR experience is often seen as solo – how might these experiences become social or have multiple participants?
  • If one person is experiencing VR/AR what are others doing in the real world
  • Cooperative gaming is established – how might VR/AR build upon this? What would be the VR/AR version of cooperative gaming be?

NB: To partake in this challenge you should ensure you have the relevant equipment to test and show your ideas at the hack.

Tools for the Challenges


Hack The Juicer

Hack The Juicer – from BBC Newslabs is a news aggregation and content extraction API. It takes articles from the BBC and other news sites, automatically parses them and (based on their content) tags them with related DBpedia entities.

The entities are grouped in four categories: People, Places, Organisations and Things (everything that doesn’t fall in the first three).

We’ve provided an OTA15 specific event page and API for use within your hack

NB: This API must only be used for R&D and Education. It cannot be used for commercial or commercial promotion purposes.

Useful audience background

The audience we’re targeting is 16-34

  • 98% own a smartphone
  • On average, they share six pieces of content a day on social media
  • They spend up to 14 hours per day consuming media, across several devices
  • This audience tell us their main reasons for using the Internet are emotional (to relax, to feel better), to connect with others, to get better choice over what they watch, and for pure entertainment. The searching/transacting nature of the Internet is taken for-granted nowadays, and we are seeing an increase in more media-related several devices
  • This audience tells us they expect content online to feel immediate, interactive, offer an irreverent take and feel individual