Outcomes: View Now
We want our objects to be enchanted, magical and to be joyful. This is our goal in designing for the Internet of Things: to make our products desirable and lovable.
There are, however, many stakeholders, actors and needs to be considered in designing for the internet of things. The different needs and value opportunities can potentially conflict with the ideal of making the best product for the end user or, indeed, in placing the best intentions of the end user firmly at heart.
When we design for the Internet of Things, we imagine a utopian scenario where objects seamlessly integrate, empower and enrich our daily experiences and routines, and through playful, subtle interaction enhance our homes, workplaces and cities by imbuing our objects with information, intelligence and awareness.
Could the Internet of Things destroy your life?
What happens when your FitBit lets the world know your sexual history?
Will you be murdered by your devices in the future?
Could your connected appliances make you a target for theft, blackmail or extortion?
Could your thermostat cause you to freeze in an effort to save you more money?
Could your kid’s toys be monitizing playtime?
Could your toilet be used to stalk you?
Could your fridge shame you to your friends for eating too much?
Could your health appliances report you to your insurance company for bad behavior?
Could an army of IoT devices take down the internet?
Might the internet appliances we create cause us to become slaves to their pervasive guidance or lose agency over our daily routines?
Will algorithms and artificial intelligence run the world, rather than humans? Could they drive governments instead of people, votes or democracy?
Some, but not all, of these are speculative possibilities. Nevertheless, we need to be mindful of these potential scenarios when we begin to design connected systems which have the potential to expose personal data (directly or indirectly; publicly or privately) to other stakeholders in the service network or more broadly to anyone on the internet.
This is what you’ll explore in this exercise.
Having developed a shared understanding of what the internet of things is (or might be), now we’re going to explore and discover the kinds of ‘internet appliances’ available today. As part of this exercise you’re going to search for innovative connected products, and report back on what you find. Together, we’ll develop a large database of connected products to inspire our work in this course.
The goal is to broaden your understanding of the field and deepen your knowledge of prior work that’s relevant to this project and to the course. You’ll be expected to select a couple of works and report on your findings with a critical perspective.
By the end of this exercise, students will:
Explore and identify the personal, social, moral, ethical and other concerns around the Internet of Things;
identify and rigorously review one precedent that illustrates necessary design considerations for the IoT
helped co-create a set of exemplars to draw on as part of in-class explorations;
have increased their ability to describe the responsibilities in designing IoT devices.
The examples above highlight not just that the internet of things has had many mis-steps in it’s implementation but just how thorny a space it is to design for. The articles voicing concerns and sharing incidents aren’t just cautionary tales but are resources for us to navigate the pitfalls and to reflect on our responsibilities when designing in this space.
As part of this exercise, you’re going to build on these examples and surface an incident, issue or concern reported in the popular press. Using this source article, you’ll
This should be a short critical reflection on the example that is about 200 words long
The article you choose should you haven’t seen before, are relevant to the topic and you find particularly interesting.
Again the emphasis here is on discovery. Explore news sites, blogs, aggregator, as well as conferences, journals and scientific papers to find exciting examples of the Internet of Things vision. This could equally be a historical example which informed the kinds of products and scenarios we encounter today, a breakthrough product which has had impact or influence, a current and state-of-the-art consumer device, a cutting edge research prototype, or a speculative proposal for a future device. There’s also no constraints on the sources or places you can look but some starting points are listed below.
No two students may submit the same example. Claim early and make sure you review each others work before posting.
Important: Title your post with the name of the project and include the following label at the end for grading purposes “#internetofworries” e.g. My example name #internetofworries
In the post, embed a video and/or images of the project, and write a short critical reflection on the project (about 200 words) as described above.
Note: Create a separate post for each example.
Note: Follow the instructions carefully as these projects require you to follow the posting instructions to receive full grades.