Sarah and I are up in Manchester, at the Sharp Project to be precise, to see the next stage in the BBC’s Connected Studio initiative, which Sarah’s been commissioned to review. We were up at Media City UK in Salford earlier in the year to see the “creative” stage of the project, a very early networking and brainstorming event where nearly 30 teams pitched ideas around the Search, Homepage and Nav “product”, after just a few hours of briefing and ideas-grinding. Today we’re sitting in on pitches around CBBC, and things are much further down the line by now. Two hours of pitches from 10 teams follow two very long days of actual development, and the thinking and work which has gone into all of these ideas is evident.

One of the instructions given to the teams is that ID and sign-up should be drivers of the ideas, so bear that in mind when you read through this quick breakdown of what we saw; also, this is strictly in headlines, as there’s a degree of IP sensitivity at stake, of course.

  • Aerian Studios showed us Crowd Sauce, an online collaborative gaming engine.
  • Peekabu presented EEZL, a very nifty piece of tech tying together image recognition, user-generated imagery and ID tracking.
  • An internal team from the BBC – today’s only one, in fact – presented CBBC Takeover, a “scalable treasure hunt with a difference”, dispersing clues, questions and challenges throughout the CBBC website.
  • MadbyPi showed us Predicto Machino, which, essentially, gamifies user info-gathering and content recommendation.
  • Young presented Music Mash Up, a flash-based music sequencer which would allow kids to loop clips from TV to make new pieces of music.
  • Mudlark showed us CBBC Life-Like, a “context-driven CBBC Dashboard” which smartly seeks to help kids navigate their way through overwhelming masses of content.
  • Corporation Pop walked us through Smart TV  Fan Club
  • Aardman Digital presented The Lair, with which kids create a goopy, gunky environment to unleash on CBBC celeb.
  • Carbon Studio  had CBBCNow, an app which aggregates content and games around brands and themes and allows sharing within a friendship group.
  • And finally Savvy Productions demo’d a second screen app designed to exploit the archive.

I’m sure Sarah will have more to say here later as she finalise her report, but my reaction to today’s presentations (and I did so with many hats on – a parent, a long-time associate of the beeb and, of course, as Convergence champion for the CIKTN.