Addressing the Internet of Things – IoT Community Call

Kristina Gorr

The Internet of Things (IoT), simply defined, is the development of everyday objects that are connected to the internet, allowing them to send and receive data. With a proud history of protecting and contributing to the Internet, Mozilla is cultivating a professional learning community who can shape IoT with Mozilla’s values in the decade to come.

The SelfReflector IoT Mirror

“Richard in Mirror.” The SelfReflector IoT Mirror. Photo provided by Jon Rogers.

Last week, we explored the topic of IoT with an open community discussion about how Mozilla is addressing this topic, some research informing our plans, what we’ve learned so far, and where we’re going.

Leading the discussion was Mozilla Foundation representative Michelle Thorne, located in Berlin, Germany. Featured guests were Rikta Krishnaswamy, user researcher from Quicksand in Bangalore, India and Jon Rogers, professor of product design from the University of Dundee, Scotland.

Here are a few highlights from the discussion:

  • “Bricking” – When connected items lose functionality (from an update or malfunction, they become “bricks”. Many items are now connected but when they lose functionality it can disrupt daily life. The Nest thermostat malfunction is one example.
  • Co-designing IoT – bringing “ordinary” people into the design process IS NOT OPTIONAL. It’s a new role for the designer – not just to physically build the thing, but to account for input/feedback along the way. To make it relevant to the daily life. It’s a messy world out there – and ignoring it by only making smooth and shiny objects isn’t a responsible nor human way to respond.
  • Human-centered design research – It’s about opening up the process, and bringing the intended people who will use the tech into the design process at certain points. Let’s make the process more democratic.
  • User control – We don’t always have “on-off” switches with current IoT. We need to start with a vision about privacy. Our initial focus is on user control – agency, comfort, etc. – around personal data in the connected home.
  • A few great resources to explore:

You can watch the full recording below, or at http://mzl.la/comcall.

What’s next for Mozilla and the Internet of Things? Check out our Github Issue tracker to share ideas and opportunities. You can also tweet our IoT speakers any time at @ileddigital @rikta @thornet.

Join us for our next community call on May 28 11am HADT/ 1pm PT/ 4pm ET/ 8pm GMT/ 10pm SAST when we will dive into gigabit technology and how gigabit communities are leveraging advanced learning opportunities.

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