How can we empower consumers to co-create new product-service systems and personalised product experiences in the digital economy? Digital gifting online (giving media such as music, video, images, games and subscription accounts) is still in its infancy, but is a rapidly growing sector of the market. Digital gifts, however, fail to be appreciated as gifts as much as their physical counterparts by their recipients, and as such are easily forgotten, and rarely reflected on or reciprocated.
We propose the novel approach of hybrid gifting in which manufacturers enable consumers to create meaningful product experiences for each other. We will develop the technologies to enable consumers to wrap and unwrap physical products with personal digital layers that add to or even create gifting experiences.
This project brings together expertise in Human Computer Interaction and Pervasive Computing from researchers at Nottingham's Mixed Reality Lab with design researchers at the Loughborough Design School. Our work aims to create opportunities for UK companies to innovate new products and services in the global marketplace. Through collaboration with our industrial partners we will explore how a range of different types of product might become hybrid gifts: fast-moving-consumer-goods, hand-crafted high-value artisan products, and luxury food gifts, each of which could be coupled with a digital component that would enhance its value to both giver and receiver. We will create, give, enable, sell and study these new products to understand their use and value, and generate a gifting toolkit to support this process for use by the community.