(Pocket-lint) - A year ago, the BBC announced that it was working on its own voice assistant, "Beeb", to offer intelligent, intuitive voice interaction across its many services. Now it is ready for members of the public to try the beta version.
Members of the Windows Insider Programme will be first to trial the beta, thanks to a collaboration with Microsoft and its Azure AI services.
That essential means that only PC users can use Beeb for now, although anyone with a compatible computer and a Microsoft soft can sign up.
Once a Windows Insider, you just need to download the beta app from here and log in using a valid BBC account.
Beeb is designed to enable specific searches and voice control across different BBC services, including iPlayer, Sounds, News and Sports.
It can be used to find and play live and on-demand radio, music mixes and podcasts, or simply request news and weather updates. It also has curated content from the corporation, such as jokes created by some of the broadcaster's comedy writing teams, or QI facts read aloud by host Sandi Toksvig.
Eventually, it is hoped that Beeb will be available across multiple smart home devices, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers.
"It’s being built to work on any voice assisted device (smart-speaker, mobile, TV or anything else) so ultimately we’d like to make it as widely available as possible. However, we would need the device manufacturers to let people have access to it," explained the BBC's head of service development, Jeremy Walker, in a blog in August 2019.
For now, you can be one of the first to give it a try and help shape its development.