Recently, Chirp’s Chief Solutions Architect, Adam Howard, was invited to
Unbound London to share his thoughts on how content producers must…

Recently, Chirp’s Chief Solutions Architect, Adam Howard, was invited to
Unbound London to share his thoughts on how content
producers must start providing experiences pre, post and during traditional
broadcast content. Here, we capture some of these and share Chirp’s role in
enabling Beat Bugs toys to interact with the Emmy-award winning Netflix TV series in a revolutionary way that children and their parents will find totally enchanting.

The evolution of storytelling

Humans have been storytelling for over 65,000 years. From the days of sitting
around campfires telling stories, singing songs, acting and passing down law
to the present day stories that we tell each other about our lives and the
lives of others through broadcast media and digital platforms.

Storytelling is in our DNA. Last century we invented the Wireless, and then
the Television. Our living rooms became the place to passively consume
entertainment. Indeed, the antenna was crucial to shaping our understanding of
what was happening in the world around us.

Today, as we have moved through traditional radio and television broadcasts to
the second screen and multiple screens which we use to consume different types
of content, it is easy to argue that our experience of media is fragmented
even isolating ourselves from those with whom we share our space.

Conversely however, it is also easy to argue that we are now no more separated
than we were when we were all passively watching the same broadcast. In fact,
we are starting to see a pattern of more active consumption emerge — the
choice is no longer simply what programme we watch but how to affect the
programme itself.

Puss in boots, trapped in an epic tale

Whilst the concept of choosing our own adventure has been around since
storytelling began, the technology is now better than ever at delivering, for
example we are now able to affect the narrative of shows such Puss in Boots

Going a step further, Oats Studios have released a series of 20-minute films which take us on trips through alternate realities on YouTube, polling audiences on which of these short films should be made into a full feature film with the final goal of using funding from fans to put the chosen story into production.

Now that the technology has indeed caught up, we see more activity in this
space already occurring. Interactive game shows allow audiences to actively
engaging through applications and Hue lights can be integrated with 3rd party apps to automatically change the lighting in our rooms to complement the mood of the broadcast entertainment we are consuming.

Now, Chirp are proud to be part of the team that have enabled physical toys to
interact with our entertainment, whilst remaining completely offline. Beat
Bugs, the Emmy award winning series on Netflix explores the narrative of songs
made famous by the Beatles and is accompanied by Hijinx Alive™ powered by
Chirp™ interactive toys which sing along with the show, the Beat BugsTM Alive App and with each other.

The Beat Bugs toys, which run on the low powered ARM Cortex M4 chip recognise portions of the show’s audio which triggers a select action for the toy — in this case, singing in sync with the songs on the show.

Chirp are the only players in the data-over-sound space to offer the
capability to embed this technology on low powered chips and we proudly add it
to our range of interoperable SDKs, allowing Chirp to move beyond simply
providing the facility to transmit information between smartphones and smart

Removing the need for connectivity in the traditional sense of course
mitigates the genuine concern for parents in regards to hackers invading our
family’s trusted space.

All the Beat Bugs are doing in this case are providing a very natural
interaction for kids to enjoy. The child doesn’t feel like he is is in control
of the Beat Bugs — they feels like friends, rather than ‘things’ the child
feels they need to command.

At Chirp, we believe that as we continue to develop things that come into our
trusted physical space, Content Creators, Brand Managers, Marketeers, Special
Effects teams, Toy Manufacturers and many more players are going to need to
think about narrative in a 360° way because the opportunity for entertainment
to interact with us in our physical space is vast. People fall in love with
‘things’ in our physical space far more than we fall in love with what is on
screen. For kids in particular, an item in their physical space that is multi-
sensory can help them to understand the narrative and immerse them into the
story. We must start thinking about providing experiences pre, post and during
our traditional content broadcasts, as well as providing experiences in
virtual and physical environments. Bringing the entertainment experience into
our physical space is not a new concept, but Chirp’s technology makes it a lot
simpler to implement at a cost price that can take bring it into a lot more
families living rooms.

We are now also seeing voice assistants playing an increasingly powerful role
in the home as a trusted part of the family. And with this we are moving even
closer towards storytelling coming full circle. Whilst we used to sit around a
campfire telling stories, jokes, passing law, singing and having fun, we are
now moving towards sitting around voice assistants, using these as an enable
and facilitator of storytelling.

Chirp’s technology enables voice assistants to interact with the physical
‘things’ around us, for example, toys, or digital applications in the living
room environment. The narrative has moved beyond linear, with endless
possibilities to create a fluid, interactive experience in the home.

To learn more about Chirp and how we work with our clients to build
connectivity and communications solutions, get in touch through