Ivan Antipov, who has developed a Fair Tracing prototype for Android, has now posted his software on SourceForge. That means you can download the code and will hopefully feel inspired to develop it further!
Archive for the ‘OII’ Category
Last but not least, we have Vishal Shah’s MEng report on his Fair Tracing Facebook application. Vishal has done a really good job in exploring the social media potential of fair trade — looking at how users can discover new ethical products through friends’ recommendations.
Vishal has been working with the project for two years, previously as an EPSRC summer student, so he deserves special thanks!
Ivan Antipov has been working on some Fair Tracing software for his BSc Computer Science degree. He has written an Android application both for accessing information on the consumer end, and to allow producers to upload information into the FT database. This is a great demonstration of how small-scale farmers could interact with this kind of ethical product information system. You can read more in his report — thanks Ivan!
Junaid Haq has been working for the last year on a Fair Tracing application for the iPhone as part of his MEng computer science degree at UCL. You can now see the results of his work in his report — well worth a read. Thanks Junaid!
Pattie Maes of the MIT Media Lab is working on projectable user interfaces:
It lets you walk up to any surface (including your hand) and interact with the projected interface. It responds to his gestures. If you hold your hands like you are taking a photo, the camera takes a photo, and then when you go back to the office, you can project all your photos and sort through them using natural gestures. She showed a projection of a phone keypad on her palm and dialed a number to make a call.
She shows a video of a guy looking at products in a supermarket. It projects a green, yellow, or red dot on a product, telling you whether or not it’s eco-friendly (or whatever criteria you set up). If you look at a book, it’ll project the Amazon rating on the book. Projecting a video of a news story on a blank rectangle on the Wall Street Journal!
Just what can you achieve with a weekend of Social Innovation? After 24 hours of simultaneous hacking, designing and user requirement gathering, our Barcode Wikipedia team came up with a basic prototype system: WIBI.it. This is a simple user interface to a wiki-like system that lets anyone look up a product by its barcode and add information. The system also grabs related tagged photos from Flickr and automatically links to Amazon, price comparison sites, and related blog and review articles.
Tom and Fred managed to integrate some open source code to recognise photos of barcodes taken using Nokia phone cameras, allowing users to look up information directly using their mobile. One of the killer apps we envisioned for this type of system would be in-store price comparisons. If you are looking around shops for say DVDs or a flat-screen TV, wouldn’t it be useful to see what online prices were available at the same time — and click to order? This has the potential to turn most of the world’s shops into exhibition spaces, with the real commerce happening on the Internet.
Thanks to David Wilcox you can watch our team’s presentation at the conclusion of the weekend:
I’m spending this weekend with fellow enthusiasts at the Social Innovation camp in east London. This group of around 60 developers, designers and campaigners have met up to work on technologies that build social capital. One of the six ideas being developed is Barcode Wikipedia, described by the Guardian as follows:
The basic idea is to build a system that lets people quickly identify information about products they find in the shops; particularly things like ethical information, news items about it or reviews. Ideally this would work through a mobile phone – you could snap a photo of your product’s barcode or tap in the numbers and get back information that helps you decide whether it’s good to buy.
I’m trying to feed in everything we have learned so far on Fair Tracing, which focuses more on information from producers, distributors and retailers. Barcode Wikipedia should generate some extremely useful ideas on incorporating user-generated content from consumers into product information systems.