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Can they fix it? UK project to explore ability and desire to repair tech

24 Jan 2022 By theguardian

Can they fix it? UK project to explore ability and desire to repair tech

From fancy toys to smartphones, when technology breaks, it often seems simplest to ditch it for a new model.

But now experts are hoping to challenge the status quo, launching a citizen science project to explore attitudes to repair, and pinpoint parts of the UK where the mending mindset is thriving.

Meanwhile companies including Microsoft and Apple have recently announced their own moves to allow consumers to repair their own tech.

But there has been pushback.

Some manufacturers also said they were waiting for customer demand to produce products with a lower environmental impact.

But, she added, one issue was that the cost of new appliances was now closer to that of repairing old ones.

The citizen science project, said Miodownik, was in part a bid to explore whether the public really cared about being able to repair products.

As part of the Big Repair Project, participants will be asked to complete a survey about different appliances, gadgets and tech, including how important it is to be able to repair them and how long they would typically expect such items to last.

The data could also provide the opportunity to test ideas around the impact of the approach.

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