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BBC trialling iPad

Broadcaster begins limited roll out to evaluate its feasibility for use by certain staff - hopes to cut down on paper waste

The BBC is considering a major rollout of the iPad
The BBC is considering a major rollout of the iPad

The BBC is running a limited trial with the Apple iPad in some of departments to evaluate its feasibility to reduce paper waste and boost staff efficiency within the corporation.

The broadcaster has provided its UK production, location and technical departments with the device in order to help them work on the move. It has also provided several managers with the tablet to see if they would be able remove the need for desktop computers.

BBC CIO John Linwood revealed the details of the trial in an interview with UK magazine Computing.

"We're seeding the organisation [with the devices]," he said. "We put some iPads into production and some into management and other roles to see if people would be able to give up their desktops."

One of the key areas the broadcaster is looking at the value of the devices is with location staff, such as journalists, producers and other support positions. Linwood said that such staff might be better off with a single, portable device, such as the iPad.

He also said that the device may be able to cut down on the amount of IT and paper currently used by technical staff, both in the company's offices around the world, as well as on location. "If a support engineer gets called into a studio, it would be handy to have a device where you could look up circuit diagrams or software help files," he said, as an example.

Linwood added that the added portability of the device over a traditional laptop may enable the company to go paper free in the near future. "On the west coast of the US, paperless meeting are the norm," he said. "If you brought paper to a meeting, they'd look at you strangely. If you actually handed paper out, they'd get upset."

A spokesperson for the BBC told ACN: "The BBC regularly trials new devices to see how they can help us increase productivity and efficiency; currently we are trialling a small number of tablet devices from a number of manufacturers."