Last month, our research team had the opportunity to host a workshop at the Thingscon conference in Amsterdam. During the workshop, we introduced participants to an 'IoT Ideation Tool' mashup, which consisted of Studio Dott's IoT Ideation Cards and Futurice's IoT Service Kit.
What is Thingscon?
Thingscon is a worldwide network of people active in the internet of things (IoT) field. Thingscon is unique since it doesn't approach IoT merely from a technology-dominant perspective, leaving room to discuss and explore topic such as ethics, humane and context-driven IoT and how to design with meaning. This all contributes to the overall Thingscon mission:
“ThingsCon fosters the creation of a human-centric & responsible IoT”
Designing an IoT solution is messy
Over the years, we have been quite active within the ThingsCon community. The prime reason for this, is that we, as a company, want to actively contribute towards the ThingsCon mission statement. One of the things we have focussed on, is figuring out ways how the design process related to IoT solutions can be made less messy.
Cutting a few corners short, an IoT design process becomes messy because the variety of partners involved is so diverse. This is primarily because an IoT design and development process consists of digital and physical elements which are being created at the same time. When these elements happen in parallel, it is not easy to have a good overview of the entire system and boundaries of an IoT product.
IoT ideation workshop
During our workshop, we introduced 2 design tools that can help creative teams to unclutter the IoT design process, make it more context and human-driven and get everyone involved in the process on the same page.
IOT Service Kit
This kit is created by Futurice, and is available as an open source project. The IOT Service Kit focusses on building a strong story behind a concept, allowing teams to fully grasp the elements that play a part in an IoT product or service.
By placing physical representations of system elements (people, cars, bicycles, sensors,...) on a representation of a context of use (a city, a supermarket, a home,...) a creative team can determine which interactions take place on which locations.
IOT Ideation Cards
This system overview is achieved by linking people, objects and environment cards together with interaction cards. By breaking a system down in this way, it becomes easy to explain relationships between all elements that are part of the product or service.