The Messaging Kettle: It’s IoTea time
It’s time to consider people in designing the Internet of Things (IoT). We demonstrate a working prototype of a Messaging Kettle. It is designed to facilitate asynchronous communication and enable a sense of presence between adult children and their older parents living remotely from them through the familiar comfort routine of boiling the kettle to make a cup of tea. Our goal is to offer a human centred critique of the Internet of Things, which has largely been conceived without consideration of the people who will use the things, and rather has traditionally moved from a technology oriented perspective. In the case of smart homes this approach has produced a wide array of projects focused on monitoring the habits of the elderly, recognizing anomalies and alerting the caregivers. In contrast we propose to focus on engagement and reciprocity, building on the rituals associated with habitually used and cherished objects. We conclude by revisiting the technology-oriented framework for the Internet of Things to include our observations on people’s perspectives on smart communicating objects.
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