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Labs.Redweb - Agency Briefing: The Internet Of Things
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Labs.Redweb - Agency Briefing: The Internet Of Things


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The good, the bad, & the ugly of the Internet of Things …

The good, the bad, & the ugly of the Internet of Things

An agency briefing on the latest area of investigation for Redweb Labs: The Internet of Things

Our view from the starting blocks and the questions and issues we've lined up to be investigated further over the coming months

Published in: Internet

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  • 1. At Labs. Redweb, We’re 4 weeks in to six months of looking at the Internet of Things
  • 2. This presentation is loosely a brain dump of the research & exploration we’ve done so far ! spoiler alert: currently we have more problems and questions, and very few answers!
  • 3. The Internet of things has been made possible by three advancements ! (low cost) Sensors + (ubiquitous) connectivity + (digital) processes
  • 4. But it’s a term better described as ! Things of the internet, or Things WITH the internet
  • 5. But we should bring this back to people It’s not just about the Things ! It’s about how this relates to us & the value people can harness
  • 6. In 2008, the number of connected Things overtook the number of humans on the planet ! That was the year of Google Chrome, iPhone 3G, windows 7 & android phones!
  • 7. We now have an enormous amount if data that our devices can access from anywhere anywhere & anytime
  • 8. It’s estimated that in 18 years time, we’ll each have 5000 connected things in our daily lives - Wow!
  • 9. But with great beard comes great responsibility…
 We don't want to drown in endless alerts, pings, buzzes, and red circles
  • 10. Most of our interaction with devices will need to be invisible
  • 11. It’s very easy to coo over the latest devices & gadgets, especially in our techy industry & environment.
 But we need to bring it back to PEOPLE
  • 12. Over the next few months, we’ll be looking further into the following 5 areas
  • 13. Smart watches, Glass, heart monitors, wrist bands, fitness trackers etc ! It feels like the earliest of stages - innovations are incremental
  • 14. Are any of those the answer to this question? 
 Not yet, but we’re possibly getting closer (Glass especially)
  • 15. Capturing our personal data:
 motion, activity, performance, heartbeat, weight, consumption…
  • 16. Who owns a fitness tracker? Do you still use it?
 Do you still keep it charged?
 Would repair or replace it if it broke?
  • 17. Changing our behaviour through awareness. 
 Short term vs long term value: 
 Changing habits vs improving performance

  • 18. But we will see more value when we move beyond gamification and sharing to monitoring and prediction ! We could use these devices to - improve our health long term, connect our health services, Prevent & predict illness. And perhaps have smarter insurance, mechanisms
  • 19. Things that deal in location specific information & services
  • 20. A closer look at iBeacons: (Apple seem very keen to these)
 This is an estimate beacon. It’s marketed heavily at retail spaces
  • 21. Shops will be able to send you personal messages. ! Sounds good, but it’s going to be misused & get spammy …and we’ll all turn our bluetooth off!
  • 22. Sensors to connect our cities, make our offices “smarter”, make our home life easier ! These are everyday environments, the spaces in which we live & work
  • 23. Individual sensors vs bigger picture ! How any house plants do people have at home? Would you pay £50 to monitor each of them?
  • 24. (Terrible football based visual joke)
  • 25. “in the future everything in a city, from the electricity grid, to the sewer pipes to roads, buildings and cars will be connected to the network. Buildings will turn off the lights for you, self-driving cars will find you that sought-after parking space, even the rubbish bins will be smart.”
  • 26. Once again, we need to bring this back to people…
  • 27. And how do we avoid this scenario?
  • 28. The 5 steps to our evolving technosociety:
  • 29. Definition of a spime:
  • 30. our current thoughts - positives, negatives & niggling worries ! FIRSTLY the things we like about IOT:
  • 31. As we’ve been saying for a while, we think the future should be: Frictionless, invisible, memorable ! And the IOT is suited to all 3
  • 32. FRICTIONLESS by task & device: ! You should be able to move from one device to another, seamlessly, for any task
  • 33. Our interaction should be effortless, seamless and withut irritation
  • 34. Making experiences that stand out, by making things that matter to people & enabling users to be part of the story
  • 35. This is amazing: Our UV chip only cost £9.70, our Headset - £100
  • 36. And now the not so good bits
 Should we be concerned about privacy? Writing a text on your wrist for all to see? Taking photos without anyone seeing you do it?
  • 37. If you can control your house with your phone, so could someone else.
 Cars are mostly CPU controlled some cars have been hacked & started remotely
  • 38. Will this make our lives easier or more complex and more difficult or distracting? ! We have to learn rules, instructions, interfaces, interactions, and remember account details, charge batteries, chargers etc
  • 39. Too much information leads to information loss ! How do we disconnected? How do we make filters smarter?
  • 40. We don’t have time (or inclination) to do everything ! We can’t do all this or we won’t have time to drink or enjoy the wine
  • 41. Which side are you going to take? Which system do you buy into?
 How deep do you wade in?
 And who owns your data?

  • 42. And will the systems you buy into last? ! What happens if they suddenly change their interfaces or APIs?
  • 43. How can we interpret the data we produce to harvest real value?
  • 44. Should we look to add personality or revert to the modernist truth to materials mantra? ! (People treat their Roombas like pets, often paying more to repair them than it would take to buy a new one)
  • 45. At the minute things look terrible - plastic, rubbery & bright. But the other end of the spectrum is no better for these new devices
  • 46. So what are the next steps for Redweb Labs and the IOT projects we’ll be looking at?
  • 47. We won’t be making the famous internet fridge. We want to explore further and ask more searching questions in our work.
  • 48. We’ll be aiming for something that ticks or tickles the boxes we’ve been going on and on about
  • 49. We’ll be making experiments to answer the questions & test the preconceptions that we’ve talked about here
  • 50. And as always we’ll be seeking the holy trinity we always aim for at Redweb Labs
  • 51. Several of our past projects can be labelled as IOT so this is nothing new to us
  • 52. Our latest project - the Blaze UV app, is a good case in point
  • 53. We bought a UV sensor…
  • 54. Connected it to an arduino
  • 55. Converted data to audio and communicated that to a phone through FSK ! (Read Sean’s blog post on
  • 56. We built our first hardware prototype, fitting all the electronics into a piggy back phone case
  • 57. And gave some thought to what form a shrunken and finished product might take.
  • 58. We gave some thought to how the phone app might work. 
 The full story is documented at
  • 59. We’ve played with making a door opening wearable. 
 Fitting the wiring form our door passes inside a watch carcass
  • 60. We’re working on a cycling hoody. 
 It senses when you lift & stretch your arm out, to then glows LEDs to indicate you’re planning to turn.
  • 61. We’re experimenting with iBeacons & a greeting display. 
 Are these reliable? Do they react fast enough? Where’s the limit between interest & irritation?
  • 62. And we’re halfway through an installation project that will see Elvis on a skateboard, being ALL SHOOCK UP
  • 63. I recently attended a client’s charity golf day. As well as looking splendid, i fully networked myself up…
  • 64. It wasn’t a very good experience
  • 65. And some of you guys have been helping test these bluetooth stickers. ! James - tracked John
 Ben - tracked notebook Sean - track passes Tom - tracked his cat
 How have you found them?
  • 66. And thanks to those who have 3D doodled: Prizes for 3d printing ! Amy - ship in a bottle
 Michaela - bournemouth eye
 James - zebra donkey
 Gemma - ISS