Feeds

Inside the BBC's R&D Labs

From the Lab to the living room

Top three mobile application threats

Vision On

While some of the projects are about visualising information for the internal use, or developing products and standards from which the BBC may derive some income in future, others have a very clear public service foundation, including work on the user experience and accessibility.

A small server module, whose design will be made freely available when complete, is being used by the accessibility team to enhance standard set-top boxes. The BBC’s working with students from Lancaster’s Beaumont College to create interfaces that can be controlled with just a single switch, for example.

BBC R&D Labs feedback cuff

Hybrid TV developments include a pressure cuff triggered by on-screen events

The same module can also be used in reverse, triggering external devices based on the broadcast, for instance controlling a motor or blood pressure cuff – a sudden vibration in your hand is a lot more startling than an audio description when a monster appears without warning.

By sharing the design of the module, it should be possible to integrate it with a wide range of accessibility aids, rather than limiting people to a single ‘special needs’ set-top box.

The Lab team is working too on visual design, including fonts for television. Perhaps the end is in sight for the near-ubiquitous Tiresias.

A Question of Sport

Sport makes up a large chunk of the BBC’s output, and there too the R&D Lab is creating new tools that can help enhance how it’s presented – and with more than just fancy graphics for scores.

BBC R&D Labs Venue Vu

Venue Vu: CGI architecture with live tennis matches smoothly inserted into the fly-by

Venue Vu, for instance, seamlessly joins 3D rendered fly-throughs of a sports venue like Wimbledon with the action on the court. First seen at this year’s tennis tournament, it’s likely to get another outing for the Olympics next summer.

At an earlier stage of development is a biomechanics system that can analyse factors like the angle at which a diver enters the water, or show the centre of gravity of a jumper, giving extra opportunities for pundits to wax lyrical; the demo I saw had pretty basic graphics, but we may see a more sophisticated version at the Olympics in 2012.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Next page: Look around you

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.