Horizon CDT Research Highlights

Research Highlights

Embedding nostalgia through personalisation in the gifting of chocolate using XR technologies.

  Rebecca Gibson (2019 cohort)

Gifting is a tradition in which people all over the world are familiar with and partake in habitually. Reciprocal gifting has been a part of life from primitive societies and have since become a foundation for modern social life and moral economy [1]. This research focuses on the idea of hybrid gifts, hybrid gifting is an emerging industry which involves a physical gift incorporating a digital aspect. This research will explore the value of hybrid gifts that embed nostalgia through personal data such as photographs. This personal data will be displayed to consumers through XR technologies for example augmented reality (AR). The value of this research is relevant to many stakeholders such as, industries that manufacture gifts, consumers who purchase or receive gifts and to different academic disciplines such as, computer science and psychology. The rationale behind this research is to create innovative chocolate hybrid gifts, chocolate is a gift which has been embedded within many cultures since it’s discovery in Mexico. Chocolate is a passion for many people due to the pleasant aroma, the attribute of melting at body temperature and a combination of high fat and sugar content which people enjoy the taste of [2]. Chocolate is also an accessible gift which can be as inexpensive or expensive as the consumer wishes. AR technology has been used for games that can be accessed globally, filters on social media and advertising campaigns. ‘Pokémon Go’ is an example of a game which incorporates AR technology. Pokémon Go was downloaded 750 million times in it’s first year, people started playing the game because of the novel technology, the nostalgic feeling and the social influence [3]. It is clear AR can be successfully embedded into different fields however, what is missing is a personalised, ubiquitous and accessible experience to add emotional and monetary value to a gift. This accessible and evoking hybrid gift model has the potential to take many forms and become transferable to other gifts, this could change current gifting paradigms and make exciting technologies available to many people across the world.


1. Levi-Strauss, C. (1949) The Elementary Structures of Kinship, : Beacon Press.

2. Rozin, P., Levine, E. and Stoess, C. (1991) 'Chocolate Craving and Liking ', Appetite , 17(), pp. 191 - 212.

3. Alha, K., Koskinen, E., Paavilainen, J. and Hamari, J. (2019) 'Why do people play location-based augmented reality games: A study on Pokémon GO', Computers in Human Behaviour, 93(), pp. 114-122 [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2018.12.008 (Accessed: 3rd February 2020).

This author is supported by the Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Nottingham (UKRI Grant No. EP/S023305/1).