Back in November we popped down the road to MediaCity in Salford to take part in the BBC Connected Studio event. The events give the wider digital community, internal BBC employees and external companies the chance to pitch directly to the people responsible for the individual products at the BBC. A brief is set for every event a few weeks prior to the 'studio day'. If they like your idea, there is a chance you will be invited back to the build studio to create a prototype and then if you are successful, a pilot to see how your idea can work in the real world.
This time round the beeb were looking for ways to integrate the available digital content with it's live sports coverage. Once we received the brief we spent some time brainstorming at Pobl HQ. We struck upon the idea of creating a digital dashboard to act as a second screen experience for sports fans and create the ultimate 'datatainment' experience.
We had a look at what types of dashboards are currently available and concluded what we do with the data is key. During the studio day we came up with the idea of including a timeline of the event that includes key action points which might be of interest to the user. This progressed further into the idea of linking the timeline and the rest of the 'widgets' on the dashboard to the on demand content available through the BBC. Myself and the team pitched our idea in a two minute slot and were delighted to hear that we were one of the ten teams to be invited back to the build studio in December.
For the 'Build Studio' we were asked to focus solely on football, creating a prototype to demonstrate how the idea could work in reality. On the first afternoon, we had the chance to meet with a group of sports fans to get some audience feedback. It became apparent from talking to them that they would find this type of second screen proposition most useful when there are multiple events on that they are interested in - an element of customisation would make users happy.
Some of the team spent time refining the idea over the two days ready for the pitch, whilst the rest worked on creating the prototype using live data. Lots of coffee, tea and fry-ups later we had a functioning prototype focusing on my beloved Manchester City and my favourite match of the 2011 - 2012 season - City vs QPR, or as I like to call it, the day my dreams came true! (pass the bucket!)
The pitch went to plan and was well received, we find out in the next few weeks if 'Sports Second Screen' is being taken to pilot. I couldn't be more excited about the potential our ideas hold, not only is the dash a second screen, we have also found a way to make on demand content more useful to the user. (Smug Face!)
If you're thinking about attending one of the Connected Studio events, I couldn't recommend it more. As a small start-up without capital investment the opportunity to pitch to such influential people within the BBC was a brilliant opportunity and a pleasure.
Find out more about BBC Connected Studios here.