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Über dieses Buch

The aim of this book is to stimulate research on the topic of the Social Internet of Things, and explore how Internet of Things architectures, tools, and services can be conceptualized and developed so as to reveal, amplify and inspire the capacities of people, including the socialization or collaborations that happen through or around smart objects and smart environments.

From new ways of negotiating privacy, to the consequences of increased automation, the Internet of Things poses new challenges and opens up new questions that often go beyond the technology itself, and rather focus on how the technology will become embedded in our future communities, families, practices, and environment, and how these will change in turn.



Social IoT Vision


Beautifying IoT: The Internet of Things as a Cultural Agenda

As an IT research agenda, the Internet of Things is often framed according to technical and economic issues, such as protocols, standards, job-creation potential, etc. We argue that IoT also constitutes a cultural and aesthetic vision, that is, a projected image of urban- or region-scale beauty, in which lives are pursued in more meaningful and fulfilling ways than before. In HCI and related disciplines, aesthetics—when not outright dismissed as too subjective and/or confusing to engage—is commonly investigated as individual judgments about individual interfaces. This is a problem, because we know that technologies can produce ugly and unlivable environments at scale—from nuclear disaster sites to urban desolation caused in large part by the automobile. Aesthetic IoT is not a matter of making device surfaces more pretty, but of thinking deeply about the ways it will shape how we live; after all, urban desolation didn’t happen because roads weren’t painted attractively, but because roads disrupted communities and their established ways of life. This chapter demonstrates that aesthetic theory provides concepts sufficient to engage matters of IoT aesthetics in precise and pragmatic ways. It does so by analyzing a policy intended to beautify a major city in Asia alongside aesthetic interpretations of two design initiatives contemporaneous with it: an agricultural IoT project that proposes a computationally enabled new intimacy between humans and their land, and a kitchen design company that innovates not only on manufacturing materials but also on the aesthetic conventions needed for consumers to recognize those material properties as beautiful.
Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell, Szu-Yu (Cyn) Liu

The Internet of Places

The Internet of Places is a specialization of the Internet of Things. Personal places (like home) and intimate public places (like neighborhood) are comprised of “things”. Such place-things can be instrumentally empowered through sensors, data sharing, and computation, thereby exemplifying and contributing to the Internet of Things. But places are distinctively significant to people in sheltering, in anchoring memories, in evoking meanings, and in providing settings for social interactions and human development. To that extent, the Internet of Places should be analyzed as a special case, and an especially social case of the Internet of Things.
John M. Carroll

From the Internet of Things to an Internet of Practices

In his ground-breaking work on the habitus Bourdieu (Outline of a theory of practice. Cambridge University Press, 1977, [4]) understands practices as the permanent internalization of the social order in the human body. Others have taken this idea and described practices as ‘normatively regulated activities’ (Schmidt K, Proceedings of the International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems (COOP) [28]). Our own interests here arise from the fact that during the performance of all of these various activities, which may implicate and draw upon the material environment, the surrounding context, their own capabilities, interests and preferences, people often use supportive devices and technologies that help to enable and support their realization. Where these supportive technologies make up a part of the Internet of Things (IoT) they are usually small, interconnected cyber-physical devices and are typically used in social/collaborative settings. As a consequence, the (re-)appropriation of these new devices and technologies is not only a technical, but also a social process. Within this exploratory paper we focus on the potential of IoT technologies for supporting collaborative appropriation within Communities of Practice (CoP) from a practice-oriented perspective. We outline the vision of an Internet of Practices (IoP). This vision encompasses and addresses a range of phenomena that has been associated with how CoPs evolve and the resonance activities that can arise as specific bodies of practice adapt, by adding integrated support for the documentation of practices and the sharing of relevant representations such that mutual improvements in practice may take place. Based on our vision of the IoP, we outline some directions CSCW research could take regarding the potential of the IoT and new emerging technologies, thereby expanding the scope of CSCW’s areas of interest.
Thomas Ludwig, Peter Tolmie, Volkmar Pipek

Social IoT Interaction Design


The Needfinding Machine

Interactive systems present new opportunities for creating devices that attempt to learn the needs of people. However, inferring from data alone may not always allow for a true understanding of user needs. We suggest a vision of Social IoT where designers interact with users through machines as a new method for needfinding. We present a framework using interactive systems as Needfinding Machines. Acting through a Needfinding Machine, the designer observes behavior, asks questions, and remotely performs the machine in order to understand the user within a situated context. To explore a Needfinding Machine in use, we created DJ Bot, an interactive music agent that allows designers to remotely control music and talk to users about why they are listening. We show three test sessions where designers used DJ Bot with people listening to music while driving. These sessions suggest how Needfinding Machines can be used by designers to help empathize with users, discover potential needs and explore future alternatives for Social Internet of Things products.
Nikolas Martelaro, Wendy Ju

Exploring Interaction Design for the Social Internet of Things

The Social Internet of Things (SIoT) builds social capital by incorporating principles of Social Networks (SNs) into the design of the Internet of Things (IoT). With the ambition of improving network navigability and service availability, research targets granting smart objects the ability to autonomously socialize with each other. The resulting independently defined social network for things will allow devices to communicate with both human beings as well as other devices. Autonomous decisions made by social things require them to understand the context in which they operate. However, the perception and interpretation of context remains fallible. As social things act without explicitly making this visible to the user, there is an increasing inability to grasp, let alone control, what is happening behind the screens. By providing intelligibility or defining personalities, the user gains a better awareness of the system’s functionality. In this chapter, we start by providing a short history of things that socialize and review related research. By gaining insights into the nature of interaction with both the world and autonomous systems, we frame interaction challenges with social things. We look towards literature in both the SIoT and context-aware computing to outline possible design techniques for addressing these challenges. Lastly, we discuss how future work can build upon our considerations to ensure natural and intuitive interaction with the SIoT.
Donald Degraen

Designing Places for Reflection

An Examination of Social IoT as a Relational Approach in Designing Spaces for Reflective Thinking
Sherry Turkle points out in her book, Evocative Objects, that we often consider objects as useful or aesthetic, but rarely count them as our companions or as provocations to our thoughts (2007). Indeed, according to distributed cognition theory, our cognitive activities are considerably influenced by and also a product of our interactions with external stimuli, such as everyday objects. Within this vast category of external stimuli, we can also include our indoor places: the architectural three-dimensional space, where we spend a large part of our days, doing various activities, using numerous objects, and interacting with people. With the advent of “smarter” homes and the Internet of Things (IoT), space becomes a crucial factor that, together with all other objects, influence peoples’ thinking. We are particularly interested in the kind of thinking that can be labeled as “reflective thinking” as a conceptual way of thinking that enables the re-consideration of experiences and actions. Reflective thinking also as a distributed cognitive process depends not only to the individual mental process, but also it is closely related to the external stimuli (e.g. Hutchins, Cognition in the wild. MIT Press, 1995, [1], Dewey, How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. D.C. Heath & Co Publishers, USA, 1933, [2]). In this book chapter, we present a relational approach to the design of such places considering the social IoT (SIoT) as a technical enabler. We do this by specifically focusing on “reflective thinking” and how it is situated in relation to computer-enhanced and smart places. We will describe how reflective thinking is related to people’s activities and smart objects within that place. Further, we provide models intended to clarify the relationships between the external factors that influence reflective thinking in a space, and how those relationships make a space a Place (Cresswell, International encyclopedia of human geography, 8, 169–177. Elsevier, Oxford, 2009, [3]). Finally, we provide an example in the form of a narrative, to show how might an SIoT-enabled place look like in prototyping lab of a design school as a very specific place. In short, the aim of our work as presented in this chapter is to spark a conversation and discussion about how HCI/Interaction Design can engage in designing of places that supports reflection using Social IoT. In doing so, we suggest that a central dimension in design of such places should be based on the study of relationships among involved components: people, their activities, and objects. We also suggest, as a theoretical contribution, that Social IoT is not only a technical platform, but rather should be understood as a relational technology that enables new kinds of places for reflection.
Maliheh Ghajargar, Mikael Wiberg, Erik Stolterman

Social IoT Applications


Sensing Home: Participatory Exploration of Smart Sensors in the Home

More and more things in the home are sensor equipped and connected to an all encompassing Internet of Things (IoT). These »smart« things may offer novel ways to interact but also raise questions around their social implications. While participatory research on IoT for the smart city has shown that technically functioning IoT toolkits are valuable research tools, surprisingly few such toolkits exist for participatory research on the smart home. Thus, we have developed the toolkit »Sensing Home« to involve people into designing and understanding use and context of IoT in the home. We will report on the design, development, and subsequent field studies of Sensing Home. Three use cases will be presented, to discuss how Sensing Home enabled several modes of participatory exploration. The first use case reports on people developing custom sensor applications within their homes. The second use case describes how students appropriated Sensing Home for empirical in-the-wild studies of smart sensing in the home. For the third use case, Sensing Home was deployed in households to explore and to make sense of collected sensor data together with inhabitants.
Arne Berger, Andreas Bischof, Sören Totzauer, Michael Storz, Kevin Lefeuvre, Albrecht Kurze

Direct End-User Interaction with and Through IoT Devices

Research addressing the Internet of Things (IoT) has been predominantly concerned with the interconnection of physical devices. However, increasingly complex application scenarios require us to further investigate the interface between IoT devices and users. In this book chapter, we explore the possibilities of direct end-user interaction with and through IoT devices. We do this by examining the increasing automation of environmental factors, such as temperature and lighting, in open-office environments. Increasing automation offers many benefits around responsiveness of buildings to environmental conditions and improved energy efficiency, but can result in a reduction in office inhabitants’ options for manual control of their environment. To inquire into this issue, we designed and evaluated an IoT device called the MiniOrb. The device employs tangible and ambient interaction and feedback mechanisms to support office environment inhabitants in maintaining awareness about environmental conditions. It reports on their subjective perceptions and opinions around comfort levels in the office and receives feedback on how their individual preferences compare with their colleagues’. A mobile-device based version of the application was also created. Employing screen and touch interactions, this version of the interface enables users to access the same information as the tangible device, but with different degrees of input precision and ambient interaction. We describe the design of the system along with the results of a trial of the device with real users, including a post-trial interview. The results shed light on how IoT devices can support direct end-user interaction by combining ambient and tangible interaction approaches. Such devices can mediate the interpretation of sensed data by end-users, as well as help collect crowd-sourced data that directly relate to sensed data.
Markus Rittenbruch, Jared Donovan

Engaging Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorder Through Multisensory Interactive Experiences in a Smart Space

Our research explores the potential of IoT (Internet of Things) for children with Neurodevelopmental Disorder (NDD), such as Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The paper describes an IoT empowered physical space called “Magic Room” that supports interaction with “smart” objects and the entire space through body motion and objet manipulation, provides different combination of stimuli. The Magic Room has been designed in collaboration with NDD experts from a local care centre and and, providing an open set of multimodal multisensory activities for children with NDD that stimulate the visual, aural, tactile, olfactory and motor system, may pave the ground towards new forms of intervention for this target group. The technology beneath the Magic Room is an extensible multi-layered software and hardware platform to connect and manage different devices. Activities executed into this Multisensory Environment (MSE) are completely customizable for each child by the therapist.
Franca Garzotto, Mirko Gelsomini, Mattia Gianotti, Fabiano Riccardi

From Social to Civic: Public Engagement with IoT in Places and Communities

This chapter reviews existing work on public engagement with Internet of Things (IoT) systems from a social perspective. It contributes a taxonomy that categorises the emergent social phenomena around IoT in places and communities. We sample representative work from each category and summarise the identified factors that are positively associated to social and civic engagement. Based on previous work and our own experiences in this field, we discuss possible approaches to scale up citizens’ participation and the role of technologies in such public engagement processes.
Can Liu, Mara Balestrini, Giovanna Nunes Vilaza
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