However, the BBC is not planning a hardware device of its own, but will instead be designed to work in all smart speakers, TV and mobile devices.
At the moment when using the BBC’s app on devices such as Alexa or Google Home, the branding “BBC Sounds” is played before the requested piece of BBC content.
The BBC’s assistant is currently running under the working title of “Beeb”, which will be used as the ‘wake-word’. BBC staff around the UK are cassisting researchers by adding their regional accents to the database.
The BBC sees the assistant as an extension of its existing public service values, by giving licence fee payers a trusted guide through the digital maze.
It has also been closing off rival providers that don’t comply with its rules. Earlier this month it was announced that BBC services would be pulled from the majority of streams from radio app TuneIn in a dispute over access to data.
According to market experts Strategy Analytics, the 30.3 million units smart speakers were sold in the second quarter of 2019, double that of the same period in 2018.
Amazon remained the market leader with a 21.9% share, though that represents a fall of 8 percentage points on Q2 2019.