On the 5th of June, the first workshop on Interactive Radio Experiences (IRE) took place at ACM TVX, the International Conference on Interactive Experiences for Television and Online Video, at MediaCityUK in Salford, UK. Despite the increasingly interactive nature of radio experiences, the topic has been neglected so far at TVX and other conferences that address interactive media. The workshop, jointly organised by the H2020-projects MARCONI and HRadio, brought together researchers and practitioners working on tools, services and applications that enable interactive radio experiences.
The workshop opened with guest speaker Chris Roberts from BBC, who talked about using automatic segmentation of audio content for better interactivity. The programme included four presentations of industry talks and short papers from broadcasters and R&D organisations (you are able to find the papers here ).
The workshop closed with a discussion on the challenges of interactive radio experiences: one major obstacle is the actual creation of content. Today, radio producers need to invest time to create additional content, ranging from adding metadata to visual materials, to interactive dramas. Enriching content with links, additional information, as well as structuring and navigation capabilities might serve as a first, realistic stepping stone in showcasing the potential of interactive radio experiences, while automation through machine learning technologies could enable cost-effective content creation in the near future.