Hybrid Gifts

The exchange of gifts has a long tradition and has been widely recognised as socially important, building bonds and promoting wellbeing. It also brings economic benefits to manufacturers and retailers by driving the sales of products. Digital gifting, giving media (such as music, video, images, games and subscription accounts) as a gift in a digital format online 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.

Companies are embracing opportunities to provide additional value to tangible products through supporting services, in particular by connecting physical goods to digital services to support customisation or personalisation.

This project will explore mechanisms for combining the physical and digital into hybrid artefacts. It will chart the opportunities for customisation to create meaningful personalised gifts and address how to facilitate the creation and sharing of hybrid gifts.

Hybrid Gifting is funded by the EPSRC and runs November 2019 to April 2022.  The team consists of a collaboration between the Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham, Loughborough University and both local/independent and multinational business Partners.