Universities design digital tagging service

A consortium of universities has designed a service that allows users to tag objects with RFID or QR technology. This enables information and personal stories to be attached to them, creating ‘a networked museum of social history’.

RFID technology is found in Oyster cards and QR codes on consumer products and ticketing systems.

The project, Tales of Things and Electronic Memory, will encourage users to access the website www.talesofthings.com, where they can attach ‘memories’ to their objects in the form of video, text or audio.

QR codes can be printed out and fastened on to personal items and RFID will be explored further when the tags can be distributed and made more readily available. 

Using an iPhone application or a Web camera, the tags can be read, processed and their information displayed.  

Academics from Edinburgh College of Art, Brunel University, University of Salford, University of Dundee and University College London have designed the project, which has been funded by Digital Economy Research Councils UK.

The aim, according to organisers, is ‘to enable future generations to have a greater understanding of objects past and present, and offer a new way of preserving social history’.  

It is also hoped that objects will become less disposable and that second-hand goods will have more historic value. The project team expects benefits for Alzheimer’s patients and a ‘richer interpretation of diverse cultural communities’.

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