Richard Gregory lecture 2013

On 28th October 2013 the Bristol vision institute hosted the annual Richard Gregory lecture in the Wills Building, University of Bristol. The talk was titled ‘Better than being there – Being there better, How technology is shaping the future of media’.

Matthew Postgate has the job of shaping and leading research and development for the BBC. His talk covered the approach the BBC is taking to embracing emerging technologies, practices and coping with the challenges that brings for a global organisation. Here are my notes:

  • Evaluation of tools to educate and entertain which is the mission of the BBC
  • Broadcast is considered a system of creation, delivery and consumption which hasn’t changed much since 1922
  • Key theme of change is now we are in the information age
  • IP end to end
  • Data centric
  • New devices and new interfaces
  • This has led to a change in how we create media to deal with the shift
  • The new broadcast system is split between create, deliver, consume and the BBC have four themes as a framework: immersive, pervasive, data rich and interactive (personal and adaptive)
  • IMMERSIVE: trying to get to the halo deck from star trek
  • 2012 Olympics used super hi vision
  • 8k cameras which are 16 times quality of current HD and uses 22 surround sound – sound not only left to right but also up and down
  • Showed an example of using the oculus rift VR headset and a 360 camera to film music practice
  • PERVASIVE: Ability to be everywhere and showing live events on mobile to complement
  • Designing for four screens: TV, desktop/Laptop, tablets and mobile are considered for all design
  • Hewlett Packard say ‘information as a utility’
  • We expect to arrive and be able to use and consume immediately
  • Wallpaper thin television using tablet control is coming in the next 20 years
  • Friends and family can join you from their location to watch things remotely together
  • Different surfaces emerging
  • Media will become more contextual as there is already more media than we can possibly consume
  • Media will begin to seek you out based on what systems know you consume using software agents
  • DATA RICH: no longer sealed, more akin to datasets
  • Will be commonplace to overlay data to your screen, even during live events
  • You’ll be able to zoom into the screen
  • Interactive to become personal
  • Adaptive abilities enabling previously fixed programmes to change, such as using your location to alter the activity live, such as using your local weather during a radio show
  • We shouldn’t lose sight of the storytelling
  • If we can take the traditional broadcast skills and add new science and then combine we’ll have even better broadcasting
  • We should be brave in re-inventing broadcasting
  • The use of contextual media will mean that your device knows your activity and will deliver the right type and length of content based on expected location, calendar entries etc



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