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Now you can beta-test new BBC TV, radio and web technology with BBC Taster

Auntie launches her very own take on crowd-backing

When it comes to making TV and radio shows and pioneering technologies such as iPlayer, the Beeb has tended to do its own rather brilliant thing. But now it wants to know what you think about where it should go next, and it’s created BBC Taster for the purpose.

Taster is a website that showcases the BBC’s most experimental wares, be they maverick radio shows, new ways of news storytelling, interactive TV or entirely new pieces of technology such as voice control and 360º video. Adrian Willard, Head of Connected Studio at the BBC describes Taster as “a new digital home for ideas” and “a place where we can show ideas in their earliest form”.

Anyone can try out the experiments, and each is packaged with a series of questions from its producers to glean feedback. Users will be encouraged to share what they’ve just tried with their friends, and feedback will be used to decide whether experiments should be iterated upon, launched or nixed completely.

The site is live now here with 17 experiments for launch and more planned for later in the week. Already, there’s an interactive gig from Run The Jewels, a ‘Your Story’ web app that creates a rich media news timeline based on your birth date and a demo from BBC Arts that allows users to construct poems from parts written by six different poets. In geekier news, there’s also an interactive Dr Who video that explores the Doctor’s history.

Another experiment set to go live on Taster this Thursday (29 January) is BBC Radio 1’s R1OT, which is a platform for polling listeners via their social feedback. If Zane Lowe poses a question – should he play SBTRKT or James Blake next, say – and creates a Twitter hashtag in support of each, R1OT assigns an avatar to each Twitter user who tweets using said hashtag, shows what they said in their tweet, and tallies the total votes to decide how the radio show will play out.

The BBC’s Ralph Rivera, Director of Future Media, said, "We’ve never challenged the storyteller the tell the story in a different way. How do we take the internet and turn it from a broadcast platform and turn it into a medium in itself?" That’s one of the questions he’s hoping Taster might help to answer – but it’s also an opportunity to have fun with tech in other ways.