Cape Town group wins BBC tech contest

2015-05-18 17:25 - Duncan Alfreds
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The team from RLabs CatchUp has developed a widget to spread BBC audio news. (BBC)

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Cape Town - A Cape Town group has been selected as part of the BBC development studio.

The news organisation is exploring how technology can be used to more broadly disseminate audio in developing countries, and especially to younger people.

The winning idea came from RLabs CatchUp which developed a widget for the global news organisation's website. Once activated, users can stream short audio clips.

"We were impressed by the enthusiasm of the participating teams, the breadth and variety of the innovative ideas they generated in Cape Town.  We are now exploring ways of developing those concepts into innovative services that will help grow the BBC World Service audience across Africa," said Adrian Woolard, head of BBC Connected Studio.

The organisation also provided mentoring for the teams as they developed technologies that could help deliver more engaging content.

"We are all so happy to have got through; we were excited from the start to take part in a BBC event. It was a great experience and we are now looking forward to the next phase of the pilot," said RLabs team leader Kurt Appolis.

Competition judge Dmitry Shishkin praised the local group for their work.

"RLabs CatchUp offered a very simple and elegant solution that we hope will lead to an increase of digital consumption of BBC audio. We recently had a very rewarding experience with a BBC hackathon in Nairobi, where two ideas were selected to be built into a prototype," said Shishkin, BBC World Service Group Digital Development Editor.

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