Click, the BBC’s technology show, has developed the world’s first interactive factual programme using object-based media technology, allowing viewers to choose from hundreds of thousands of alternative versions.
The programme to mark the shows 1000th edition has been in development for a year.
Click is seen on BBC World News and in the UK on the BBC News channel, which will broadcast a non-interactive version, pointing to the interactive version available online here.
Viewers will be able to explore the world’s self-driving capital, Phoenix, to hear about the backlash to self-driving cars, be introduced to some innovative tech entrepreneurs in Malawi, and meet the godfather of branching narrative content – ‘choose your own adventure king’ Ian Livingstone.
They will be choose which stories they want hear about, and in how much detail, allowing them to pull in further information as required.
Simon Hancock, editor, BBC Click, said: “This approach has the potential to transform the way content is created and consumed in the future. It offers our viewers a bespoke experience, tailored to their specific interests, preferences and choices. It is a great example of how the BBC is at the forefront of innovation in broadcasting, as it has been for almost a century, and the future possibilities for object-based media in the factual space are incredibly exciting.”
The interactive episode used a content creation tool called StoryFormer, which was developed by the BBC’s Research & Development department. Whereas traditional editing tools line up blocks of audio and video on a timeline, StoryFormer allows production teams to break stories down into their constituent parts, such as audio, individual frames of video or captions, which can be dynamically personalised and shaped by the preferences of the person watching.
Click, which has been on-air for close to 20 years has previously experimented with other production techniques including 360 video, virtual reality and making shows entirely on mobile phones.