Doctor Who and the Nanoracers Click


Doctor Who and the Nanoracers

Click goes back to school with teaching tech. VR comes to pubs, plus scary sounds with Doctor Who.


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Transcript


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This week:

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The coolest history lesson in history.

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The smallest car race in the world.

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And we are with the Doctor as something goes bump in the night.

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School, it's changed a lot since I went through the education

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mangle all those many years ago.

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Many years ago.

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The school buildings may look the same but technology has

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been infusing education for quite awhile now.

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We have smart whiteboards, we have increasing use

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of tablets and laptops.

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We have e-textbooks instead of textbooks, but there are some

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systems which mean the way in which kids learn and are taught

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is changing completely.

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It seems many tech giants want to become part of education.

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After all, an early introduction to their brands may one day add up

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to a greater number of users.

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Microsoft this week launched its education offering

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which includes a new version of Windows called Windows S,

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a budget Surface Pro in various colours and some tweaks

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to its office applications.

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Apple's teaching tool Classroom had a face-lift last month and now

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offers more tools for teachers.

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But before both of these came Google Classroom.

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And today I am finding more about it from Mr Lickfold,

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director of learning at Tring secondary school.

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They have been using this online system for the past 18 months

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to teach and monitor the students' progress.

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Today I'm learning about the Galapagos Islands

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and I have to say the lesson that Chris has constructed

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certainly looks more engaging than my old textbooks.

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But tech can do a lot more than just provide media rich lesson plans.

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We're able to personalise what we do far more than we have

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ever done before and take them to different resources that

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are available in the system.

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Every student's learning journey will be different.

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Taking teaching online also means teachers have a lot more access

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to children's individual learning data and even their

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thought processes.

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For example, this browser extension lets the teacher watch how an essay

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was written and refined.

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If I have got a student who in preparation for their exams

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is not constructing their paragraphs correctly, I can say, "OK,

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let's look at how you constructed your particular paragraph.

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What did you do?

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Where did you develop it?

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What can you do differently?"

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If it's maybe two or three paragraphs and they spent so long

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on the first one then I can also just say, "Look, this is how long

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you spent on this first document, it's like half an hour.

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You only spent five minutes on the second and third one."

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The kids also seem to like the learning experience.

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Lots of time there will be teachers at home and we can still do work

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at home and teachers can still be there and they can see

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actually see how much we have done.

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If your teacher does not believe that you have spent the amount

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of time required on the homework, then you can say, "Actually I did

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because look at the edit history."

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It's so much quicker than handing in work waiting until another lesson

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to get it back whereas now you can just hand it in and in 20 minutes

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you can have it back.

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Using online tools and data is one way to enhance learning in schools,

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but Lara Lewington has been looking at other tech that

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promises to change how children learn completely.

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VR, robots, holograms, it wasn't like this in my day.

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I am robot.

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At the BET Education Show earlier this year we saw some

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of the most cutting edge ideas heading to the classroom soon.

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Over the past few months I have seen quite a few devices that bring

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together the idea of kids coding and toys aiming to make

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the activity more fun.

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But good old Lego here have gone a step further.

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They are trying to recreate real life situations where robots

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would be used so that children can find problems and then find

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the solution and the mission we have here is for a space robot

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which needs to move around the space base collecting these theses

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all together and taking them back to one place.

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But obviously the coding should do that bit.

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Using the drag and drop blocks to create sequences that carry out

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actions is just part of the learning process as science is being

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taught at the same time.

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But Brickso's vision of what could be learned

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through these small plastic blocks was quite different.

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Look at this.

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This is a way to bring your existing Lego set to life.

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It has got a couple of LED lights, a sensor, and these blocks actually

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conduct electricity.

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From there you can create whatever spinning, moving,

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lighting functions take your fancy.

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But this use of technology isn't just about teaching ICT.

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This adaptive learning is also about employing new methods

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of teaching traditional classes.

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The teacher guides with experience but as a student

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you can really roam about.

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This is Google Expedition.

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Now, Jan here is going to play the part of a teacher.

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She will be talking through what we are all looking

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at through the goggles at the same time.

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That actually represents all of you.

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The pictures are amazing.

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I mean, looking at the difference between the healthy lungs

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and the smoker's lungs I definitely think we should stick with the kids.

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The idea of an image in your mind is certainly something that

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could be easier to maintain than someone just talking.

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But my issue is actually with the idea of wearing the goggles.

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They're fine for a couple of minutes but then I do feel

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the urge to take them off so I can't imagine actually wearing

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them for a full half-hour lesson or beyond.

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Many of these ideas will be picked up by individual schools,

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but although the ideas and devices are out there, the challenge comes

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in making them available to the masses and that is something

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which one not for profit in Finland, a country considered to have one

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of the world's best education systems, is trying to overcome.

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I would say that education is one of the few big industries

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that is still waiting to be disrupted.

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One of the biggest challenges in our education system

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is that it is based on the ideals of the industrial world,

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so it is kind of like teaching everyone to be the same.

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And in tomorrow's world it is crucial to be individual.

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One idea turns things on its head though, focusing not simply

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on new ways of teaching, but firstly analysing how we learn.

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Well, I am on my way to maths class which should cause me a bit

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of concern because I am not sure I remember that much from school,

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but with this class everybody is having their own private lesson.

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The teacher doesn't stand up and project their voice

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to start the session.

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The kids take their places at computers were Century AI

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will take you through the lesson.

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This artificial intelligence system aims to teach each pupil

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at their own pace and in a way that suits them best, constantly

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getting to know them better and tracking their progress.

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The whole purpose of this machine is to learn how your brain learns

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and then utilise that data, and it constantly adapts,

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to provide them with a top-tier education at any single moment

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and then takes that data and offers it to the teacher in real-time.

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Here the students generate the data.

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It is provided by real-time teachers and they can intervene

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when necessary and they can spend more time on the human

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interactions with the student, the pastoral care that they need

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to provide to that individual.

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Teachers can share their content around the world with other

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people using Century, so any given subject could have

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numerous options the machine could select from based

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on a student's focus and learning levels.

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And if they choose to manually switch, then it tracks and considers

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their preferences as well.

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What do you feel are the challenges?

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Sometimes like if you are not too sure on a question and you've

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watched the videos and stuff, it's easy to like have a human

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explain it to you, but the computer does make it as easy as possible.

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Whilst of course I can see the benefits of personalised

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education there is one thing playing on my mind.

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That is the amount of screen time.

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We have had plenty of teachers, not just parents, saying do

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you really want them staring at a screen or an iPad?

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And it's not the answer and it's not binary and I think

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that's really important.

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We don't think teachers should be replaced, we think

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we need more teachers, we just think teachers should be

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spending their time teaching and inspiring and passing

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on knowledge of the subject that they really understand.

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There's no shortage of ideas yet naturally putting them to the test

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requires people willing to take a chance on them.

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But clearly the idea of technology giving an overhaul to how

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we educate our kids does not seem far away.

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Hello and welcome to The Week in Tech.

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It was the week that Tesla boss Elon Musk talked

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about tunnels again.

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He's proposed an underground network where your car gets shuttled

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from A to B on an electric skate that could go up to 130mph.

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The name of his new venture?

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The Boring Company.

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It was also the week that users of messaging app WhatsApp were left

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asking what's 'appening?

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after the service mysteriously went down for several

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hours around the world, and the bank accounts of O2

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customers in Germany were drained after the SS7 mobile

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telecommunications system was hacked.

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We covered the SS7 vulnerability on the show last year.

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Over in Sweden the world's fastest camera has been developed.

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Lund University's camera can capture 5 trillion images per second whilst

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other conventional high-speed cameras typically capture 100,000.

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Instead of capturing images one by one this captures several coded

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images at once and pieces them together into a video afterwards.

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It will be used to film things like brain activity

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and chemical reactions.

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And finally in an effort to help robots run better in the future this

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ostrich-like bot can spread up to ten mph and has been cleverly

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designed to self balance without the need for sensors

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or computer processing.

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A single motor drives the bot's legs forward in an elliptical motion

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injecting more power when it feels resistance.

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Look at it, it's got a mind of its own.

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Right, everyone down to the pub for a swift half,

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a game of bar billiards and a battle with some giant bugs.

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Sounds like a perfect evening for Mark Chislak.

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There are a couple of things that you always find in a British pub.

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Number one is pints of beer.

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In some drinking shops there are distractions like darts.

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And of course virtual reality headsets.

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VR in pubs?

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How ever will you find your pint?

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The big problem for most people with virtual reality is space.

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You just don't have the space in a normal sized living room

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to play VR games properly.

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The headsets have got cables attached to them which you can

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easily trip over and then you have got furniture and walls

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that you can bang into.

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That is where pubs come in.

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Pubs are generally bigger than the house that you live

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in so there is no problem with space and they afford you the opportunity

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of a truly social virtual reality experience because people can see

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what you are doing.

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So, the walls in here are green and that means the spectators that

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are watching me can see the environment that I am

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in and also if I back myself up to them I feel that they are soft,

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they are padded so players cannot injure themselves if they get

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a little bit too energetic and throw themselves around in space.

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It's like a soft play area for adults.

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The combination of public houses and virtual reality

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is the brainchild of these guys.

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They've used their background in satellite technology,

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IT and engineering to create this setup.

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So what made you guys think that VR and pubs went together

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like a pie and a pint?

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We thought we wanted to do a VR arcade, but arcades have a staid

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and outdated image and so we were looking for a good venue to do

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virtual reality in public.

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When you're involved with alcohol there is always a degree of risk

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to the gear and the equipment overall, so we have had to rig up

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harnesses so if people fall over they don't damage themselves.

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The harnesses also protect the headsets so they don't

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fall on the ground.

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Enough talk, it's time to try out the specially designed VR rig.

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We've got this plugged into the seat belt arrester system

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which will catch you when you fall.

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In order to make players safe it is crucial that the cables

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for the headsets are kept out of the way.

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I have a harness that I have to put on.

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It goes on there.

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And then you put this in at the back here.

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And now no matter how much you turn around this cable is not

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going to get caught in your head or on your back, an ingenious

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solution to the cable problem that everybody finds with VR headsets.

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OK, now I have played tonnes of games in VR before and as always

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OK, now I have played tonnes of games in VR before and as always

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I'm immediately transported from the space that I was in,

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this pub, into this sewer and zombies are coming from pretty

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much every direction.

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Reload, reload. Oh!

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You don't really notice the cable that you are wearing

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and the harness.

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I thought you would, but it's kind of...

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I don't notice it is there at all.

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What have you discovered about the type of games that

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are best to play in this environment?

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Our rule of thumb is basically any more than one button

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is too complicated.

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Most of the people who are playing have never played

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virtual reality before.

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And it's enough of a surprise for them to find themselves

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in a computer game.

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You don't want them to then have to remember six or seven button

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combinations as well.

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Double your gun, double your fun.

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So this is where nice, simple games can easily be demonstrated.

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It's a wave shooter and I have got waves and waves of bad guys trying

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to attack me.

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The aim is simple - fight them off.

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How do people fare when they have been in the VR when they have had

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a couple of drinks?

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It's a bit like playing pool.

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You get progressively better, and then you get a lot

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worse all of a sudden.

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It's really, really frantic.

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I don't think I can stand more than five minutes in here.

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Simply because I'm getting really hot!

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Oh!

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And I am done.

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Well, it's somebody else's turn, and it's my turn to order

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at the bar.

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Oh.

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Now, does this look like a race track to you?

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Does this look like a car?

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Well, last weekend, six teams took to the track in Toulouse,

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in France, for the world's first nanocar race.

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The nanocars are specially designed molecules which are invisible

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to the human eye.

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Nano things are very, very small.

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One nanometre is 30,000 times thinner than a human hair.

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In ideal cases, we try to build molecules which have the shape

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of a car, that is some kind of a chassis and four wheels,

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and ideally a motor.

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But in some cases, it turns out that simpler molecules work as well.

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Six teams competed, representing France,

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Switzerland, Japan, Germany, the USA, and there was a joint

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US and Austrian team.

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The tiny racetrack for most teams was made of gold.

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Now, this is because gold is so soft its surface can be made

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extremely flat, as in, there is not even an atom

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out of place.

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And that does take some time to prepare.

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Since we bring different types of molecules to the surface,

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or the same surface, first you have to clean the surface

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to make sure you have a good track.

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There is a good organisation of the atom, and to free the track

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from the molecules that you don't want.

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And this will take one or two days.

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Once the nano cars are in position on the track, the teams use the tip

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of a scanning, tunnelling microscope to propel the vehicles

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with tiny electric charges.

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They have 30 hours to race 100 nanometres and back.

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Six teams started, with no guarantee that they would all finish.

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But there is historical precedent here.

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In 1894, there was the first ever car race in the world.

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Of course, macroscopic cars, big cars.

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We had 100 or so cars registered at that time,

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and only 21 succeeded to start, and only 17

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arrived at the end.

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So we are in the same situation, but of course we have

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less starting cars.

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In the end it took one team only 19 minutes to finish the race,

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but they did use a different track.

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If we had used the gold, it was going to be uncontrollably

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fast.

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So we used a silver surface, which is actually a slower surface.

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So we slowed it down so we could control it better

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around the pylon.

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We never revealed the structure of our car until race day,

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there was no requirement to reveal the structure of the car.

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Because we worked so hard to come up with these design features,

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we didn't feel that we wanted to reveal that

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to the world until race day.

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And looking at their cars we knew that they were going to be a little

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bit slower because number one, they were very big.

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The higher the molecular weight, the harder it is to move it.

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Number two, they had aeromatic wheels.

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We knew that was going to slow them down.

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Even though it was originally deemed a 36-hour race,

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we knew that we were going to be able to finish much

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faster than that.

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The second team to finish raced on the standard gold course,

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and took over seven hours.

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The organisers decided to declare both the Swiss team

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and the US-Austrian team joint winners, as they had raced

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in different circumstances.

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The tech used in the race will help improve the imaging capabilities

0:19:160:19:19

of the world's most powerful microscopes, and the car design

0:19:190:19:22

process has pharmaceutical applications for making designer

0:19:220:19:24

molecules.

0:19:240:19:30

As it was, in the world's first nano race,

0:19:300:19:32

every team will have plenty of thinking to take back

0:19:330:19:35

to their tiny drawing boards.

0:19:350:19:37

Now, you may remember last year we tickled your earbuds

0:19:370:19:39

with something called binaural sound.

0:19:390:19:43

Now, this is a way of recording audio so when you listen back

0:19:430:19:49

through headphones, the sounds actually sound like they are coming

0:19:490:19:52

from the right place in 3-D space.

0:19:520:19:54

Well, it turns out someone was listening.

0:19:540:20:00

Not just someone, but The Doctor,

0:20:000:20:02

and he invited Kate Russell to hear all about it.

0:20:020:20:05

Go and have a look.

0:20:060:20:07

Why me?

0:20:070:20:09

You're physically bigger.

0:20:090:20:13

Maybe it's just the central heating.

0:20:130:20:24

Oh, sorry, didn't mean to scare you.

0:20:240:20:29

Unlike a new episode of Doctor Who, that uses

0:20:290:20:31

binaural sound to really get inside your head.

0:20:310:20:36

I have come to south Wales, where the episode

0:20:360:20:38

Knock Knock was filmed.

0:20:380:20:41

In this spooky-looking house, the Doctor investigates

0:20:410:20:43

some strange noises.

0:20:430:20:44

What's going on?

0:20:440:20:47

Using binaural sound, the show's producers are able

0:20:470:20:49

to ramp up the fright factor by placing

0:20:490:20:53

sound effects all around the listener, so they feel

0:20:530:20:55

like they are actually inside the room with the actors.

0:20:550:20:59

SO if you see a normal, digital audio workstation,

0:20:590:21:05

everything is layered up in tracks.

0:21:050:21:07

But actually, we can see those tracks

0:21:070:21:09

on the computer as little objects, like you are looking down on top

0:21:090:21:13

of a room.

0:21:130:21:14

So you can see these dots with a cross showing where the left

0:21:140:21:19

and right is, and the up-and-down axis.

0:21:190:21:21

When the sounds are then put through into the BBC renderer,

0:21:210:21:24

which is a piece of software that the R team have made,

0:21:240:21:27

then you can see where those sounds are hanging in 3-D space.

0:21:270:21:31

To experience the binaural effect you must be using stereo headphones.

0:21:310:21:36

Even a top-of-the-range 5.1 surround sound speaker systems will not

0:21:360:21:40

deliver the results, as the microscopic time delays

0:21:400:21:44

in sounds arriving at your ears are vital to creating

0:21:440:21:47

the 360-degree immersive effect.

0:21:470:21:49

That was super, super scary and spooky and atmospheric.

0:21:490:21:52

Very subtle.

0:21:520:21:55

If you are expecting the kind of like sideshow act of jumping

0:21:550:21:58

around sound that really wows you, this is not what this is about.

0:21:580:22:02

This is about a subtle experience of placing

0:22:020:22:06

you in a three-dimensional soundscape.

0:22:060:22:07

The reason why this episode lent itself so brilliantly

0:22:070:22:10

to the binaural mix is because of it being a kind of horror genre

0:22:100:22:21

and a lot of what makes things scary is what you don't see and building

0:22:210:22:27

up the atmosphere to that moment of scare is really what the audience

0:22:270:22:31

are looking for.

0:22:310:22:32

We were told 3-D TV was going to be the next big thing.

0:22:320:22:35

Well, that didn't happen.

0:22:350:22:36

So why should this be any different?

0:22:360:22:38

The reason why binaural is really taking off now

0:22:380:22:42

is because we're in the age of the smartphone and the tablet.

0:22:420:22:45

People are consuming their media with headphones.

0:22:450:22:47

The headphones are hugely popular.

0:22:470:22:51

We've got - even in my family, my kids will sit down

0:22:510:22:57

watching their own content, that they're interested in,

0:22:570:22:59

with a pair of headphones so as not to disturb each other.

0:22:590:23:03

I think what will happen when people experience binaural audio with TV

0:23:030:23:06

content, radio content, and then they go back to stereo,

0:23:060:23:14

they'll feel a little bit - it's quite a claustrophobic feeling.

0:23:140:23:19

And you think I want that other sound, please.

0:23:190:23:22

What was that?

0:23:220:23:23

It was binaural, let me have some more of that, please.

0:23:230:23:26

I think that is where we will start to see binaural really take off.

0:23:260:23:29

This spooky episode will be broadcast with regular sound on UK

0:23:290:23:32

TVs this weekend.

0:23:320:23:33

I'm afraid viewers from the rest of the world will have to wait.

0:23:330:23:37

For the binaural experience, watch it on iPlayer.

0:23:370:23:39

I recommend a darkened room, some decent stereo headphones,

0:23:390:23:41

and a steely nerve.

0:23:410:23:42

And remember, if you do hear knocking sounds in the night,

0:23:430:23:46

it's probably just your pipes.

0:23:460:23:47

Probably.

0:23:470:23:48

Wow, can't wait to see and more importantly hear that episode.

0:23:480:23:56

But then I Love Doctor Who.

0:23:560:23:58

Can't wait to see every episode.

0:23:580:24:00

That is it for this week.

0:24:000:24:01

Follow us on Twitter throughout the week.

0:24:010:24:03

Thank you for watching, we will see you soon.

0:24:030:24:07

Hello.

0:24:210:24:24

This sunshine makes all the difference at this time of year.

0:24:240:24:27

We have an abundance of sunshine across the northern half of the UK.

0:24:270:24:30

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