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Renting Based on Your Rep

This article was was written by Regine Debatty in May 2006. We're republishing it here as part of our month-long editorial retrospective.

113357753_8554f1d654.jpg Dave Chiu and Didier Hillhorst have developed an interesting concept of what they call Reputation Management Service. Interesting because it gives a glimpse of what tomorrow could bring but I also find it rather frightening (and not just because I never ever pay my bills on time). RentAThing enables negotiation for access by addressing risk.

A series of transaction mechanisms and interactions leverage trust and reputation to enable a variety of scenarios involving access to objects and services. Instead of silos of reputation, with various services, companies, and individuals developing isolated reputations, RentAThing provides a centralized means of managing and developing a single reputation: your reputation.

As you go through life, you acquire a reputation. Do you pay your bills on time? How do you treat library books? Do you forget to return money you've borrowed? This reputation affects your ability to gain access to things and services. In the future, with spimes and smart objects as actors in a world of ubiquitous information, your objects could be rented to anyone at any time. Gaining access to those objects could be as simple as having a great reputation.

Photos by Dave Chu. Slideshow.

Your Actions Follow You Around is a part of our month long retrospective leading up to our anniversary on Oct. 1. For the next four weeks, we'll celebrate five years of solutions-based, forward-thinking and innovative journalism by publishing the best of the Worldchanging archives.

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