Share

Oxfam shops help to launch 'social network for objects'

Oxfam shops help to launch 'social network for objects'
News

Oxfam shops help to launch 'social network for objects'

IT | Gareth Jones | 16 Sep 2011

Oxfam is extending its use of new technology which allows shoppers to view the history of items, after an initial trial increased turnover in a Manchester shop by 41 per cent.

The technology has been devised by academics at University College London (UCL), and uses QR code technology to create “a social network for objects”.

Oxfam will now introduce the technology into 20 more of its shops, allowing customers to scan the codes with their mobile phones in order to access information about items such as past geographical locations, stories from previous owners and video clips.

Initial examples include a dress donated by singer Annie Lennox (pictured) which is linked to a video where she talks about how she wore it to Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday party, and a stripy jumper which includes a story from a previous owner about how she wore it the first time she met her ex-boyfriend.

A spokeswoman for Oxfam said: “Promoting sustainability and encouraging consumers to look beyond disposable fashion and love items for longer is an important part of what Oxfam shops bring to the high street.

“The stories behind vintage and second-hand garments are part of their desirability and we find that items with an interesting history instantly have added value for our customers.”

Speaking at the British Science Festival earlier this week, Dr Andy Hudson-Smith, director of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL, said: “In 20 years time it may well be possible to enter a shop where each object is able to offer up its own history - what sort of person owned the object before, where they got it from and what memories are associated with it.”

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Wellcome Trust's investment portfolio reaches £18bn

19 Dec 2014

The Wellcome Trust has posted a 15.4 per cent return on its investment portfolio, earning £2.5bn for...

HMRC tax statistics suggest large rise in charitable giving

19 Dec 2014

Tax relief on giving is expected to rise by 12 per cent in the year to March 2015, suggesting a large...

Andrew O’Brien moves from NCVO to head CFG’s policy team

19 Dec 2014

Andrew O’Brien is to join the Charity Finance Group as head of policy and public affairs.

Charity Commission exercises inquiry powers four times as often as previous year, report shows

19 Dec 2014

The Charity Commission investigated almost 2,000 charities in the year to March 2014 and used statutory...

DWP promises measures to improve charities’ experience of the Work Programme

18 Dec 2014

The Department for Work and Pensions has agreed to introduce measures expected to improve the Work Programme...

Acevo membership fell 10 per cent in the last year

18 Dec 2014

Chief executives’ body Acevo saw a 10 per cent drop in membership in the year to March 2014, and a fall...

CRUK crowdfunding effort flops

15 Dec 2014

Cancer Research UK’s three new crowdfunding campaigns did not manage to raise even 10 per cent of the...

Volunteering platform Do-it relaunches

12 Dec 2014

Online volunteering platform Do-it has been relaunched today by its new owner, the Do-it Trust, with more...

‘The challenge is getting people to use IT systems’

28 Nov 2014

Whatever type of customer-relationship management system charities use, the biggest challenge is convincing...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising