AUNTIE BEEB is introducing interactive radio using Alexa and Google Assistant.
BBC Radio has a century of producing fine radio drama, but these are going to be a little different because you will be able to use Alexa or Google Assistant to dictate what happens next, just like a Choose Your Own Adventure book of yore.
The plays are being developed alongside BBC R&D (that's' research and development, kids) in association with production company Rosina Sound.
A demo portion is already available to listen to, but once the concept has planted itself in your brain, you start to realise just how revolutionary this could be. Remember, when we started talking back to the web, we called it Web 2.0 - so is this Radio 2.0?
Obviously, interactive audio stories aren't new per se, but this is the first time that we've seen a traditional broadcaster take up the mantel.
The blog explains: "In this pilot, you're actively playing a part in the story, using your own voice - we wanted to make it feel like you're having a genuine, direct interaction with the other characters in the piece. We haven't come across any other interactive stories like this on voice devices, and we're excited to see how people respond to it."
The company has developed a "story engine" to make it easy for producers to port their possibilities into a variety of voice assistants, with Microsoft, Bixby and Homepod all possible for future iterations.
"As far as we know, there aren't many people developing cross-platform voice experiences in this way." says Auntie.
The pilot, a comedy sci-fi will be released towards the end of the year on the BBC's experimental portal BBC Taster. It is said to draw from games like The Stanley Parable and authors like Franz Kafka and Douglas Adams, which seems rather fitting really. Douglas would have loved it. µ
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