The BBC has launched its own version of Watch Party as part of a project to look at the future of personal data, social TV and metaverse-style interaction.
BBC R&D has partnered with Sir Tim Berners Lee’s company Inrupt, who specialise in personal data stores and have provided the technology to enable the trial, using personal data stores in a way that’s never been done before in a live environment.
The project includes a Watch Party experience, called BBC Together + Data Pod, where viewers can log in and watch some of the BBC’s most popular shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and EastEnders with their friends and family.
It uses a technology called a Personal Data Store (PDS), a system that allows someone to store data about themselves in their own secure repository, either on a device or in the cloud. The user can then control access to the data in the PDS.
BBC R&D said it believes using a PDS to power an audience-facing product at this scale is a world first.
Data generated by people using BBC Together, including what they watch and when, is stored securely in a PDS. Once they’ve finished watching, the BBC makes the data visible to the user with the option to edit, delete or share back with the BBC to help build future services.
“We passionately believe the BBC has an opportunity to do things differently and is perfectly positioned to explore alternatives to the current situation and create a trusted and safe public service online space for our audiences, one where they have full visibility and access to their data,” said the BBC R&D team in a blog post.
The blog adds that the aim of the project is to not only see how the technology stands up to being used at scale with BBC platforms, but also enable the team to understand what the long-term opportunities are for the BBC with this technology.
More details about the project are available here.
And the BBC Together technology is available on BBC Taster.