Public Private Property

Imagine Couchsurfing…for drills.


A platform with profile pages, ratings, and social networking for any physical objects, be it household appliances, office supplies, or exotic and rare rentals. Users upload information about objects they own, which can be searched and requested by other users. The objects are lent out to members of the community, circulating, say, a projector to a college student giving a class presentation, to a start-up CEO traveling to a trade fair to pitch her company. The goal is to help individual users: you can borrow commonplace, pricey, or obscure items for a limited time, while also ensuring that things on your shelves don’t collect dust unused.

That’s the idea behind Public Private Property, a concept recently presented at openeverything berlin. The platform runs on trust and transparency, just like many communities like Couchsurfing do. In the same way that nearly a million people offer their couches overnight, free of charge, to perfect strangers, Public Private Property relies on trust systems, openness, and reciprosity for its success.

Objects are stickered with QR codes, linking to profiles and giving you a quick overview of the object’s history, owner, and lending conditions. Backing the system are standardized contracts that operate on layers similar to Creative Commons, so users can easily understand the terms of use, and so can lawyers and machines.

I’m very curious to see where this project and idea go. The future of hyperlinked objects is upon us — let’s see if it’ll take your couch on a journey instead of you.

Image: “Couchsurfing Drill” by thornet, remixing “A 1960s Bridges electric drill” by bowbrick both available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 License.

Comments (3)

  1. Pingback: Street With a View « = thornet =

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.