One of the creators of Thinglink - Jyri Engeström - is a PhD student at Lancaster University, as well as being involved in numerous well-received social software programs. The latest is 'Thinglink' which is basically a product code, but serves as the conduit of meaning between things and people rather than things and corporations.
Here is a post about the concept behind Thinglink:
A thinglink is a free unique identifier that anybody can use for making the finding and recommendation of particular things easier in the Internet.
A thinglink identifier is based on the idea that many of the things we use in our daily life are quite particular. Perhaps we know their origin (who has made them, when and how) and something about their history or previous use (like with furniture and cars). Some things have more meaning to us than others.
Sounds great Jyri!