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BBC is making interactive radio plays for Alexa and Google Home

BBC is making interactive radio plays for Alexa and Google Home

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Photo: BBC

The BBC is known for producing radio plays, but the format is about to get a high-tech twist: a new experiment by the broadcasting company will turn traditional audio dramas into interactive stories.

One new radio play — a comedy / science fiction story titled The Inspection Chamber — will work similarly to a choose your own adventure book or game. Listeners will hear a chunk of the story, and then be presented with a choice of what should happen next. It was developed by the BBC’s R&D division, which worked with an audio company called Rosina Sound. The piece is said to take inspiration from games like The Stanley Parable and Papa Sangre, especially in terms of exploring new ways to offer interactive fiction. You can listen to some of it now over at the BBC’s R&D blog.

The BBC says it has developed a “story engine” that makes it easy to release the same story on multiple platforms, so The Inspection Chamber will be available on both Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices when it releases later this year. The company is also exploring the possibility of expanding to Cortana smart speakers or Apple’s HomePod when those devices are released.