Authors: Markus Salo
Mobile applications, related to the fields of augmented reality and Internet of Things, have begun to allow users to interact with physical products and objects through sensors,barcodes, QR codes and RFID systems. Contrary to earlier applications, which are known from one-way interaction and producer-generated content, the novel applications are enabling user-generated content to be attached to physical objects in real environments. The mission of this study, carried out with content analysis, was to find out what kind of information users attach to physical objects. 200 publicly available pieces of attached, user generated content from 95 users were analyzed. The sample,consisting of textual comments, pictures, videos and hyperlinks, revealed that users are attaching versatile digital content to objects with their mobile phones. The attached content in the sample varies from informative user reviews and status updates to plain product pictures. Certain product types are connected with certain content categories in the sample.
Keywords: mobile applications; user-generated content;barcode; augmented reality; Internet of Things