House Training the IoT, Energy Temporality, and Wearable Healthbands

Two research papers conducted as part of the PETRAS House Training the Internet of Things project, hosted at Lancaster University’s Imagination Research Lab, were presented at the 2017 Designing Interactive Systems conference this week. Both projects employ Design Fiction to explore issues around the adoption of IoT technologies in domestic/home-based settings.

“Will you need a permit to use your home-made health wearable?” is the title of this speculative research around the future of crowd funded and open source IoT health wearables. The researchers provocatively assert that designers, researchers, and product manufacturers must give equal consideration to possible future regulatory environments, as well as the technical and commercial challenges of building such devices. You can download the paper from the ACM digital library here, or via Lancaster University’s research repository here.


In a second Design Fiction paper from Lancaster, “Not on Demand: Internet of Things Enabled Energy Temporality”, new design challenges emerging from smart grids of the future are discussed. ‘Energy Temporality’ is a concept that describes how in an IoT-supported smart grid product designers must manage situations where energy supplies are not always available on demand. This work poses questions around what role the IoT can play in managing and optimising energy temporality. This speculation is built around a fictional corporation named Allspark. Within the Design Fiction world, Allspark provides a smart energy infrastructure comprising large IoT-enabled batteries, a new generation of appliances powered by direct current (in order to be more power efficient), and a suite of support applications for smartphones and tablets. The Allspark infrastructure relies on a network of LORA-based wireless communication. You can actually follow the fictional Allspark corporation on Twitter. You can download the paper from the ACM digital library here, or via Lancaster University here.