BBC Invents Radio That Tailors Content To Its Listener

BBC Invents Radio That Tailors Content To Its Listener

Built-in sensors allow this device to change what users are listening to based on the surrounding environment.

Ross Brooks
  • 23 may 2013

The British publishing network has developed a device called the Perceptive Radio, that can customise the content it plays based on variables such as location, time, proximity and background noise.

A proximity sensor, light sensor and microphone all provide the information for the radio to decide on which content it should play. The proximity sensor is currently used to adjust the audio mix of the radio play, adding or removing background sound effects depending on how close a listener is to the device.

Apart from the content possibilities, and the non-commercial status of the BBC, personalised advertising is one aspect of the device that many are interested in. If it was able to detect where you were and what you were listening to, it could serve up ads based on those factors, making them much more specific.


The radio is also part of a larger campaign from the BBC aimed at creating different forms of perceptive media that can react to their environment. It’s currently being worked on at the Future Media & Technology department in Salford, UK but there are plans for the design to go open-source, allowing other to contribute their ideas.



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