Open IoT Studio

Photo by Peter Bihr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Open IoT Studio was a collaboration between the University of Dundee and the Mozilla Foundation that sought to advance a responsible and open Internet of Things (IoT) through professional practices and a network of IoT practitioners who conduct research, make prototypes and build meaningful collaborations.

The project broadly aimed to explore how we could embed Mozilla’s Internet Health values into IoT. These values include privacy and security, decentralisation, openness, digital inclusion and literacy. To do this, the project took the form of a series of convenings, collaborations and commissions to build actionable insights, demonstrator prototypes and a network of practitioners.

Our Friends Electric

Working with Superflux, the studio commissioned a speculative film that would showcase different types of relationships with voice assistants, an IoT technology that has quickly become commonplace. Highly resolved prototypes created by Martin Skelly and Loraine Clarke brought these relationships to life, and are now showcased in London’s Design Museum.

The film features virtual assistants that grow with you, AI that speaks on your behalf (pre-empting the announcement of Google Duplex by six months), and a philosophically-minded companion with unexpected results. Each of the short stories reflects existing trends in IoT as well as Internet Health values, acting to support discussion and reflection around the future of technology.

Key Publications

Taylor, N., Rogers, J., Clarke, L., Skelly, M., Wallace, J., Thomas, P., George, B., Raj, R., Shorter, M. and Thorne, M. (2021). Prototyping things: Reflecting on unreported objects of design research for IoT. Proceedings of DIS 2021, ACM, 1807–1816. doi:10.1145/3461778.3462037

Rogers, J., Clarke, L., Skelly, M., Taylor, N., Thomas, P., Thorne, M., Larsen, S., Odrozek, K., Kloiber, J., Bihr, P., Jain, A., Arden, J., von Grafenstein, M. (2019). Our Friends Electric: Reflections on advocacy and design research for the voice enabled internet. Proceedings of CHI 2019, ACM. doi:10.1145/3290605.3300344

Funding Details

Funded by Mozilla Foundation. Jul 2016–Jul 2019.