- Hi! THANK YOU to MONIQUE, MARCEL, ISKANDER & the crew for organizing this - This is the biggest ThingsCon event OF THE YEAR!
In China we learned that an event isn’t a REAL EVENT until it has a QR code. - Join the backchannels on Wechat or Slack. You’ll see this slide and the Slack address at the END OF THE PRESENTATION It helps to have an CONVERSATION and a PLACE TO CONNECT EASILY
INTRODUCTION THINGSCON & THE WAVING CAT I’m interested in the IMPACT of emerging technologies & how to put them to GOOD USE I work in two parts
Part 1: CLIENT WORK (strategy, consultancy) I help clients NAVIGATE the IMPACT & OPPORTUNITY of IoT through CONSULTING WORK
Part 2: self-initiated EXPLORATIONS of important topics through PUBLICATIONS & EVENTS [EXPAND]
— In 2014 I co-founded THINGSCON to explore how to understand & make the IoT better. - btw, it’s MIND-BLOWING to me to see this energy and all of you here today.
WHY ThingsCon? - We just formally adopted this MISSION STATEMENT, and I DEEPLY CARE ABOUT it: to foster the creation of a HUMAN-CENTRIC and RESPONSIBLE IoT (you’ll see this slide repeated FREQUENTLY)
IoT is tricky business. 3 REASONS.
This is SELF-EXPLANATORY, right? Where atoms are involved, things can go wrong. Where ATOMS are coupled with BITS, even more can go wrong. It’s EXPENSIVE. It’s SO MUCH HARDER than purely software. So this is a hard aspect of IMPLEMENTATION
- Once systems are CONNECTED, questions of POWER and CONTROL come to the forefront. - WHO OWNS this computer? Who CONTROLS the COMPUTER, and the DATA flowing in and out of it? This is especially relevant and clearly manifested in the SMART CITY (b/c PUBLIC) and CONNECTED HOMES (b/c PRIVATE) So this is a tricky bit about SOCIAL IMPACT
These questions are NOT EASY to UNDERSTAND, and not EVEN to DISCUSS. Lots of JARGON, lots of disjointed conversations in different disciplines. Hardly any SHARED LANGUAGE. - AND our MENTAL MODELS and METAPHORS haven’t EVOLVED as quickly as the technology. - To proceed, we need a SHARED LANGUAGE & BETTER METAPHORS. - After IMPLEMENTATION and SOCIAL IMPACT, here’s a tough aspect of ANALYSIS and UNDERSTANDING
So let’s look at WHERE WE ARE I brought some good and some not-so-good examples.
a lovely connected toy company from Berlin (the TEAM IS HERE TODAY. Say hi MATAS!) beautiful, well made, considerate, respectful. and above all: HUMAN-CENTRIC. not connected for connectivity’s sake, but to enhance a fundamentally human experience, PLAY. they’re great.
San Francisco: Matt Biddulph & Tom Coates (ThingsCon alumni) an app that allows you to CHAT with your SMART HOME appliances nice & simple: a human-language interface for the smart home helps people READ and UNDERSTAND a complex IoT system. it increases LEGIBILITY!
Turin, Italy: Jasmina TESANOVIC & Bruce STERLING set up the OPEN SOURCE SMART HOME OF THE FUTURE: open source RESEARCH PROJECT in the old Arduino factory A fantastic RESEARCH APPROACH outside the COMMERCIAL SPHERE. You can stay there, or install your open source smart home things there to test them in real life. Talk about APPLIED RESEARCH! We need more of this!
[>CLICK to activate GIF] Switzerland/France: An international team of neuroscientists created a BRAIN IMPLANT that allows PARALYZED MONKEYS to WALK AGAIN QUOTE: “The primate was able to walk immediately once the brain-spine interface was activated, no physiotherapy or training was necessary.” EMPOWERING + EASY TO USE. No RE-LEARNING of ANYTHING. Talk about human-centric! Obviously, there’s HUGE responsibility in messing with brains. But this is HOW HIGH we SHOULD AIM!
- That makes me think we’re making GREAT PROGRESS. AWARENESS for responsible IoT is RISING. - We’re near this peak!
but not all is great (yet) do NOT serve to publicly shame individual companies - aim to HIGHLIGHT structural RISKS and PITFALLS TO AVOID
This is a CONNECTED WINE BOTTLE. It let’s you ORDER WINE online & SHOWS THE WINE LABEL BUT: It LIMITS your CHOICE to selected vinyards, it uses PROPRIETARY bottles, and RUNS OUT OF BATTERY. It’s WORSE than a TRADITIONAL WINE BOTTLE in every respect. Think about what you want to improve. DO NOT just PUT A CHIP ON IT.
In connected systems, a SOFTWARE UPDATE can LOCK YOU OUT of your house. That’s BAD. And let’s not even look too closely at RANSOMWARE for now although RANSOMWARE is STARTING to happen, too. Just look at San Francisco Public Transport. We need to DESIGN AGAINST THESE THINGS, too
SUNSETTING CONNECTED PRODUCTS is tricky, because in IoT you buy a SERVICE as much as a PRODUCT. Yes, MAINTENANCE is EXPENSIVE and HARD BUT if a consumer BUYS IN GOOD FAITH, a premature “sunsetting” leaves scorched earth for everyone & UNDERMINES TRUST Also, more trash through BRICKED GADGETS is NOT COOL We have to think about LIFE CYCLES and DESIGN WITH THOSE IN MIND
A couple of months ago, we saw a giant DDoS attack. NOTHING UNUSUAL, except: it used INSECURE IoT devices as ATTACK VECTOR (incl. 1/2 million cheap security cameras) SECURITY & RESPONSIBILITY are so-called EXTERNALIZED COSTS. The market DOES NOT PAY for these things TO BE MADE SECURE. That NEEDS TO CHANGE. Let’s not accidentally build powerful BOTNET INFRASTRUCTURE
So when I think about these examples I think: “Oh boy, DO WE HAVE A WAY AHEAD of us!” It’s important to remember that we’re STILL in the EARLY DAYS of IoT
We, in this room, are the people who need to do this right. WE ARE THE ONLY ONES. I consider that both a DUTY and a PRIVILEGE. We talk a lot about IMPACT and leaving our mark on the world. This is OUR CHANCE. We’re AWARE and CAPABLE and IN THE RIGHT PLACE. Let’s GROW THIS MOVEMENT and FIND ALLIES and get this right!
Let me share a little about WE HAVE BEEN DOING and WHAT WE ARE PLANNING FOR THE NEAR FUTURE.
The community was historically EVENT-DRIVEN - In 2014, we started out with two events: Berlin & Amsterdam. A BIG THANK YOU to the AMSTERDAM team for being true leaders (back then, and even more today)
Within a few years it grew into a global phenomenon: ThingsCon today is a COMMUNITY OF PRACTITIONERS, an EVENT NETWORK and a budding GLOBAL MOVEMENT. 20+ events in 2016, including small ones in South America and a larger first one in Asia. That’s 3 continents!
- Let’s go for 100 events next year! The FIRST EVENTS IN THE UNITED STATES are already taking shape and the NEXT BIG ThingsCon after Amsterdam will take place in LONDON in JUNE, hosted by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino Plus many LOCAL SALONS throughout the year: in Amsterdam, Milan, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Berlin… It’s going to be a good year.
But let’s not just look at EVENTS This summer, we gathered some of our MOST ACTIVE COMMUNITY MEMBERS and STAKEHOLDERS for a weekend to plot next steps - Here are SOME OTHER OPPORTUNITIES we see to PROMOTE our shared mission
You see at the TOP OUR MISSION and BELOW OUR ACTION FRAMEWORK Btw, what’s “RESPONSIBLE”? We stayed away from a FIXED LIST because it depends on CONTEXT, it’s a NORMATIVE, ASPIRATIONAL STATEMENT For me it means RESPECTFUL, INCLUSIVE, EMPOWERING, SUSTAINABLE & OPEN.
LABS is a new PROGRAM we’re trying out in 2017, a semi-academic, informal COLLABORATION BETWEEN RESEARCHERS. Andrea Krajewski & Iskander are taking the lead on this, and Andrea brought her students from University of Darmstadt today! - Also, there’s a SESSION ABOUT LABS at the event!
We’re trying to get better at promoting GOOD examples of IoT. Among other things we’re slowly starting to reach out to CONSUMER RIGHTS organizations and might try to do more POLICY WORK if we can find a good angle. (Want to work together? Say hi!)
We also want to do OUR OWN in some way or another. For example, We just went to Shenzhen to learn more about the IoT ecosystem there. You’ll hear more about that all day today and tomorrow We’ll be looking into expanding this.
We’re planning a publication about the state of human-centric IoT for 2017. We’re still working out the details, but most likely we’ll start an ONGOING PUBLICATION on MEDIUM and a dedicated PUBLICATION OF CURATED CONTENT from that pool LATER in the year. Talk to Simon today if you’d like to get involved!
ALL OF THESE activities are in service of MORE INFORMED DECISION. Because over time, MANY SMALL DECISIONS ADD UP to MAJOR CHANGE
- Speaking about day-to-day work: - Some proposed strategies and tactics for every day.
This is design 101. Lose the personas and involve your real users
DIVERSITY IS KEY, both from a SOCIETAL POINT OF VIEW and because it leads to BETTER PRODUCTS Consider the SMART HOME: Surely there are different CULTURAL TAKES on the smart home between Japan, the US, the Netherlands, and Kenya? There is NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL (Maybe that’s also why nobody lives in a smart home?)
Consider ALL ASPECTS, not just those that are EASY TO MEASURE Especially in the SMART CITY, also design for SERENDIPITY, EMPOWERMENT, OPPORTUNITY… (and MAKE SURE YOUR CLIENTS DO, TOO!)
Part of good IoT design is good old SYSTEMS THINKING. Part is SUSTAINABILITY. For CONNECTED SERVICES we need a HOLISTIC PERSPECTIVE.
- Consider the SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS & ABUSE SCENARIOS what happens if this runs out of batteries? what if a wifi or USB standard changes? what if it gets hacked by criminals, or a government? what if the company goes belly-up or is acquired?
How your product is FUNDED and MADE changes OUTCOME & IMPACT
Look at the spectrum of production and funding. Where you work sits on this spectrum makes a huge difference both in terms of INPUT and OUTPUT. For example, some projects will need VC money to scale quickly. But this isn’t for everyone!
We need to learn to make a BUSINESS CASE for responsible, ethical choices And I believe THIS IS a STRONG BUSINESS CASE
GET INVOLVED JOIN THE CONVERSATION ONLINE Join an EXISTING Thingscon meetup or START ONE in your town — We’re all here to help you get started. Come say hi!
Join the conversation: SCAN for WECHAT, GET IN TOUCH for SLACK though thingscon.com
ThingsCon Amsterdam: A responsible Internet of Things
1 Dec 2016
A responsible Internet of Things
Self-initiated conferences, publications & research projects include:
Cognitive Cities Conference (2012)
Future of connected cities.
UIKonf (since 2013)
Berlin’s ﬁrst English-language iOS
Sold in 2015.
ThingsCon (since 2014)
Future of hardware and Internet of
Understanding the Connected
Home (2nd ed. 2016)
Thoughts on living in tomorrow’s
connected home. Ebook.
Dearsouvenir (since 2015)
Digital travel magazine exploring
cities through souvenirs.
Printed collection of essays
tracking the evolution of the IoT
ThingsCon fosters the creation of a
human-centric & responsible IoT