Sony has launched +U, a volunteering application for mobile phones, which lets people access small volunteering opportunities to undertake while out and about. +U works on Android devices, offering access to Do-it.org, YouthNet's database of volunteer opportunities.
The app has been developed from Open Planet Ideas, Sony’s crowdsourcing platform, Open Planet Ideas, which asked the public to consider new ways of using technology for good.
Magdalena Wasowska, General Manager of Technology and Software Centre at Sony, and a member of the Open Planet Ideas expert panel said: “The Open Planet Ideas platform provided members of the online community with direct access to Sony and other partners including WWF and IDEO experts. This exciting approach to collaboration meant that a really diverse group of people were able to innovate together to address key social and environmental challenges."
Emma Thomas, CEO of YouthNet said: "As the UK’s largest volunteering database, Do-it exists to make volunteering easy and the development of +U provides huge potential for the sector to develop the way that we encourage and motivate people to volunteer.
“We know from our own research* that nearly three quarters of people who undertake volunteer work do so to make more effective use of their spare time and, through +U, people will potentially be able to browse and apply for opportunities wherever and whenever it suits them."
As part of the initiative, YouthNet is working with charities to explore new microvolunteering opportunities.
The application code for +U is open source so will be made available for free for development by other charities and organisations across Europe. Sony hope to see it used in a range of other ways and formats.
Wasowska added: "We hope that the +U application will be of interest to the many hard working volunteering groups across Europe; we hope that they are able to utilise this back-end solution to create further awareness, support and action for their worthwhile causes."