BT OK - A Granny-Friendly Programming Tool

BTok is about making an integrated digital lifestyle so easy that your granny can do it - dragging and dropping blocks to program behaviours

Flyer outlining the scope of work for the BT OK programming language

To get the best of the modern integrated digital lifestyle, everything needs to be able to connect and coordinate together. You should be able to have your alarm clock 'know' what your appointments are. Your phone should know it's the weekend. Your car should know that it's parked at the football club, and disable its alarm, but text you a picture if it sees a disturbance.

Using the integrated tool we are building, in the future, customers should be able to create behaviours combining together BT devices, products and services, with each other, with sensors, with household automation and and third party networked services.

BTok is a new kind of programming language, inspired by MIT's Scratch. Using this language, your granny should be able to build her own personalised services. This approach could reduce time to market from months to minutes, and development costs to zero.

It's about harnessing people's own view of what they want their digital lifestyle to be like, rather than what a BT technology researcher might think their life is like. It's about putting the tools into the consumers hands to directly conceive, test and prototype a new service, then deploy it.

  • When I'm 30 feet above the ground, silence my 'phone
  • Don't switch the call to voicemail if I shout "Hold on" or I'm running across the room or I'm scrabbling in my bag
  • Text me a warning if my granddaughter isn't home by 5pm
  • Ask callers to dial 1234 when they call, preventing automated services
  • When I'm 10 miles from home, between 4pm and 6pm, text my husband to make the tea
  • When it's quiet, ring quiet, when it's loud, ring loud
  • Wake me 30 minutes earlier when it's wet outside

It's a project I'm leading, architecting and prototyping on behalf of my employer BT Labs, with a bunch of talented individuals contributing. You can get an idea of the scope of the work in the flyer above, created with an open source tool to edit Scalable Vector Graphics called Inkscape.

If you want to contribute, from inside or outside the company, then just get in touch


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