BBC brings interactive radio plays to Amazon Echo, Google Home

The broadcasting company announced on its blog that it's crafting the radio play, called "The Inspection Chamber," in collaboration with audio tech agency Rosina Sound. BBC R&D cites authors like experimental modernist Franz Kafka and sci-fi comedy genius Douglas Adams as inspiration for the piece, and classifies it as a "comedy science fiction audio drama."

The play will follow a formula akin to other interactive fiction pieces and will work similarly to a choose-your-own-adventure story, but with one distinct difference: Instead of listening to a chunk of the story and then choosing one of two or three given options, users will actively play a part in the story and interact with other characters in the piece by using their voices. According to the company, this will allow users to feel more completely immersed in the tale because they won't have to repeatedly pull themselves out of the moment to consider their choices.

Once "The Inspection Chamber" pilot drops, it will be available on Amazon's Alexa-enabled devices and Google Home. However, thanks to what BBC is calling its "story engine," it will be possible to release to other devices as well — the company said it would like to expand its roster to Apple's HomePod and Microsoft's Cortana speaker eventually.

If you can't wait to find out what the audio play will sound like, you can hear a sample of it in a video shared on the aforementioned blog post.


How excited are you for "The Inspection Chamber" and possible other interactive radio dramas? Do you think the interactive fiction genre will lend itself well to smart speakers like the Amazon Echo? Let us know in the comments!

Tory Foulk

Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.