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BBC testing new innovations for iPlayer

BBC R&D looking at innovation that will offer viewers a more personal service

The BBC is testing new updates to iPlayer that would change the way viewers find what they want to watch.

As part of the Corporation’s Tellybox project looking at the way viewers will watch TV in the future, the BBC R&D team have been testing a number of new innovations including a ‘random TV’ feature, a tool to help couples choose what they want to watch, and voice software to enable viewers to chose content based on their mood.

The ‘random TV’ feature would see viewers spinning a ‘fruit-machine’ style reel which would show them different kinds of content available.

The BBC is also be looking at a feature that would help couples with different tastes find content they would both be willing to watch. The idea is that one person would select a list of five possible shows, their partner would choose their top two picks, and the first person would make the final choice.

The R&D team are also working on voice software that would allow the viewer to tell iPlayer they want to watch “something funny”; there are also plans to introduce functionality that would serve up content based on how much time the viewer has – from five minutes to an hour.

The new features are currently being trialled by the BBC Taster website and will be used to inform the R&D team on future development of iPlayer