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connected world

An index of smart home projects

October 10, 2016 | By | No Comments

We’re trying to build a list of smart home/connected home/IoT in the home projects to share publicly, for free.

We’d like to get this as comprehensive as possible, so it should include anything from grassroots, DIY efforts of home automation to big tech company efforts; as well as “meta” level analysis around the topics, ie. relevant books, research projects, and the like.

Thank you for your input!

28 Jul


Internet of Things as a range of arenas

July 28, 2016 | By |

The term Internet of Things (IoT) is so large, so almost all-emcompassing, that it can get in the way of conversations: Just like the internet itself has become a horizontal technology that has touchpoints across (almost) all industries and (almost) all parts of (almost) all organizations, IoT is on the way to also cut across industries and organizational boundaries.

It can help to break it down into fields; they’re verticals of sort, but not quite: More like contexts in which IoT manifests. I like to think of them as arenas of IoT:

IoT Arenas IoT arenas by Peter Bihr/The Waving Cat (v2)

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15 Jul


The Good Home at London Design Festival

July 15, 2016 | By |

Together with Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino and a wide range of collaborators, we’ve been exploring better solutions for urban living in the 21st century in the Good Home Project.

We’re in the middle of preparing the upcoming installment at the London Design Festival.

A quick overview of the (draft) titles for the projects we’ve confirmed so far.

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27 Jun


OpenIoT Design Sprint Anstruther

June 27, 2016 | By |

Spent a week on at an OpenIoT design sprint hosted by Mozilla and the University of Dundee in Anstruther, Scotland. The themes that emerged were around connectivity (or lack thereof), user research, and working with local communities:

  • Fisheries Museum (community home)
  • Farmers (clever countryside)
  • Teens (covert communication)

Here’s a quick overview of the project descriptions and some photos of the prototypes. My apologies for the quality of the photos; they were snapped on my phone for some quick documentation. You’ll find more (and likely better) photos on Twitter, Instagram, and the participants’ blogs. (Search for OpenIoT and Anstruther.)

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26 Jun


Fisherman’s IoT

June 26, 2016 | By |

We spent a week in Anstruther, Scotland for an #OpenIoT design sprint organized by Mozilla and the University of Dundee. Here are some thoughts reflecting on our work there.

The Reaper is a traditional fishing vessel from Anstruther, Scotland. Built in 1902 as a sail boat, and retrofitted with an engine 14 years later, it continued its career as an active fishing boat until the late 1950s. Now the Reaper is a museum boat (museum’s Reaper page), maintained by the Scottish Fishery Museum in Anstruther.

I believe we can learn quite a bit from boats like the Reaper for the way we design contemporary #IoT systems, services, and products.

Learning about historic boats
The Reaper’s deck. More specifically, the Reaper’s capstan.

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08 Jun


Understanding the Connected Home, 2nd edition

June 8, 2016 | By |

Cover: Understanding the Connected Home

The second edition of our book Understanding the Connected Home is out. Michelle Thorne and I fully revised, rewrote and updated this edition. It’s both broader and deeper and reflects our thinking around connected homes and smart homes; IoT and ethics; and some other related fields.

You can read it online at and also find various other formats to download there. For even easier reading, you can find a specially formatted edition of Understanding the Connected Home on the Kindle Store (this is also a way to support this and further books).

18 May


Kansas City & questions for the smart city

May 18, 2016 | By |

In her excellent IoT newsletter (subscribe here), Stacey Higginbotham of Stacey On IoT discusses privacy and the smart city. It’s a great, quick read in which Stacey takes Kansas City’s smart city plans and discusses them with KC’s Chief Innovation Officer Bob Bennett.

Since it touches on a quite a few of the core themes we touched on in our recent smart city policy recommendations for the German government, allow me to pull a few quotes from that newsletter:

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