Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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BBC Launches First Interactive Voice Drama


The BBC has unveiled a new experimental interactive voice experience called The Inspection Chamber.

Available for Amazon Alexa currently and coming to other platforms in the future, the experience allows users to play an active role as the fourth character in a sci-fi comedy-drama story. The Inspection Chamber begins with a computer called ‘Dave’ explaining that a pair of scientists will soon be inspecting you to try and identify what kind of creature you are. The answers given during the inspection shape the direction of the story, influencing the plot and leading toward one of a variety of potential endings.

Developed by BBC Research & Development in collaboration with production company Rosina Sound, The Inspection Chamber is available via BBC Taster and the Alexa Skill Store. To ensure each interaction feels as intuitive and natural as possible, BBC R&D created a story engine from scratch, modeled on the type of engines used in video games.

George Wright, head of internet research and future services for BBC R&D, said: “The Inspection Chamber is an experimental first step using this emerging medium. It enables listeners to take part and interact in a way they never have before. They’re not just a listener anymore—they have an active role in the story, playing the fourth character in a radio play which puts them in the heart of the action. This collaboration between the BBC’s R&D department and a new audio independent company is something we’re all excited by.”

About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at kbrzoznowski@worldscreen.com.


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