Create the Future. Today

RFID tags used to attach stories to charity shop's donated wares


Launched at this year’s Future Everything digital arts festival in Manchester, RememberMe is a collaborative project between TOTeM (Tales of Things and Electronic Memory) and Oxfam which infused personal history into donated items by enabling people to attach stories to them using RFID tags. People donating items at an Oxfam store in Manchester were asked to tell a story about the object into a microphone, including when and where they acquired it and any personal stories associated with it. The audio clips were linked to an RFID tag and QR code and items tagged with a story were added to the shop’s stock as part of the in-store exhibition. Visitors to the shop used their own smart phone or a bespoke RFID reader to listen to the stories through speakers in the shop, and were invited to purchase the story-tagged objects. Beyond the Oxfam project, TOTeM’s free iPhone app gives purchasers anytime access to attached stories, and can also be used to scan, comment and add location to things in the wild. Consumers can also tag their own items at the TOTeM website, linking any object to a snippet of video, audio or text describing its history via printable QR code tags. The concept steers people away from thinking of an item’s value as purely financial, encouraging them to realize the sentimental value of objects and (maybe) think twice before throwing things away. It’s also a retail concept that would no doubt appeal to authenticity-seeking consumers everywhere—one to implement on a permanent basis? (Related: Secondhand store in Tokyo showcases previous ownersApp lets users attach digital content to any barcode.) Spotted by:  Jane Macdonald



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