Sony and YouthNet are working on +U ("plus you"), a mobile volunteering application that uses YouthNet's volunteering database Do-it to deliver "bite-size" or microvolunteering opportunities to a wider audience.
"+U" (formerly known as Greenbook) was the final concept to emerge from Sony’s crowdsourcing platform, Open Planet Ideas. It will combine mobile volunteering opportunities with social and gaming benefits. Potential volunteers will be matched with local projects through geo-location technologies and then awarded points based on the volunteer opportunities they fulfil. Users can then share their experiences via social networks such as Facebook, "making volunteering faster, easier and more social".
Emma Thomas, CEO of YouthNet, the charity that runs Do-it, said: "Do-it is the most comprehensive database of volunteering opportunities in the UK, offering more than one million opportunities to volunteer from 28,000 organisations, so there is huge potential to develop the way in which we encourage and motivate people to volunteer".
Sony and YouthNet aim to share the preview version of “+U” in the coming months to test and trial the system. It will then be released as an open source application for any organisation to use. The date for the final application will be announced in September 2011.
The Open Planet Ideas community platform, launched in September 2010 in partnership with WWF, invited the public to imagine how existing Sony technologies could be repurposed to tackle environmental and sustainability issues.