BBC launches Taster testing site

January 26, 2015 | 12:08

Tags: #archive #beta #broadcaster #doctor-who #experiment #metadata #tagging #voice-recognition

Companies: #bbc

The BBC has launched a platform to showcase its latest and greatest ideas and experiments, dubbed BBC Taster, offering pre-release access to features and content not yet ready for general release.

Launched today, BBC Taster is an offshoot of the corporation's Connected Studio programmes, designed to foster innovation within the broadcaster. The features on offer from the service are described as 'new, experimental ideas in the testing phase,' with the warning that they may not work as intended across all platforms and devices. '[The] site is designed for testing and audience feedback purposes,' its disclaimer reads, 'and does not necessarily represent the BBC's future plans.'

Each feature launched on the site is available for a limited time - typically three months or less - and includes interactive content feeding in to a variety of the corporation's divisions, from Doctor Who to its World Service radio archive. Some projects are serious, such as an effort to assign high-quality tagging metadata to the aforementioned radio archive, while others - like a programme from improvisational comedy group The Noise Next Door which takes its themes from trending social media content - are less so. Some make clear the reason for the site's 16-plus age recommendation, such as the somewhat awkwardly-named Kitchen Bitch starring John Quilter.

It's easy to imagine some of the features being integrated into the main BBC experience in the near future, including the BBC Big Voice Hack which adds voice recognition capabilities to the BBC's news, weather and travel sub-sections - but, at present, only in Google's Chrome browser.

The BBC Taster site is live now, with the content available due to change over the coming months as existing experiments are retired and replace with new projects.
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