A very simple deployment of the Internet of Things has been developed by researchers from several universities in the UK. Their project is called Tales of Things and Electronic Memory which is about linking everyday objects to their corresponding social memories and social stories.
Chris Speed, Reader in Digital Spaces at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, says “a thing is a thing but it’s also an instance in a database somewhere. Databases are often really dull, but then YouTube is a really fascinating database full of social memory. So couldn’t you just link barcodes to social memories and social stories?”, and this is exactly what they are trying to do (see the full interview embedded below or click here for the link).
The researchers collaborated with Oxfam and realized that when people give away their things to Oxfam shops, they could ask these people to tell the story of the object. Each object then got a QR code which when scanned links to the social memory stored online. People could also tap the object with an “RFID wand” and if they did, the story of the object was broadcasted in the PA system of the shop. Speed says that “stories might very well increase the value of second hand goods”.
Maybe this is a practice that could be used at the “Bicycle Kitchen” at our prototyping lab Fabriken? Imagine assembling a new bicycle of second-hand bicycle parts and all those parts have the story of the previous owners!
– Project website Tales of Things and Electronic Memory
– Beta version of Tales of Things
– Also read the research paper: Tales of Things: The Internet of “Old” Things: Collecting Stories of Objects, Places, and Spaces (pdf)
Image credit: yksin CC:BY-NC-ND