Illustrate the dangers of bad IoT design
Created: March 22nd, 2018
As college students, we are always looking for ways to help us maintain healthy eating habits, work habits and even cleanliness habits. We decided to pursue the idea of a smart floor because it cannot only be beneficial to college students for cleaning up after a party, but also for someone who are real people living in the real world. This could could revolutionize keeping your house clean well into the future.
After coming up with the Smart Floor idea, we saw a lot of potential for how beneficial it could be for people. This product is similar to many Iot devices out there in that its primary goal is to help individuals. The beauty of this product is that it very easily blends into your house and is not very harmful to the environment that it is placed in. However, we also considered many concerns that could arise with the product making it not as desirable as one might think. These concerns include making it difficult for someone to sleep, being too demanding, and potentially pushing someone to move because of it.
The product we have envisioned is a smart floor for integration into a smart home environment. The smart floor can potentially span the entire space of the house and will be able to monitor the household for patches of dirt, spillages or general tardiness on the floor within the covered area of the house. When the system deems certain areas to be untidy enough to warrant action, it will alert the user by activating the integrated LEDs to flash red at these spots. The homeowner will then be alerted to the need for cleaning when he observes any of these alert cues when walking around the house.
The system consists of an integrated network of smart floor tiles and camera units To setup the system, the home owner would use the smart floor tiles as his flooring material. The camera units will then be placed on the ceiling at strategic location so as to provide a full view of the entire housing space. After which a syncing/calibration step on each camera unit will be performed. This step activates each camera unit to scan the floor within its field of vision to locate all visible floor tiles using their visual tags so that it can be recorded in the camera unit’s main processor for use in the monitoring and mess detection algorithm. Whenever a mess is detected by the camera unit’s algorithm, signals are sent to the appropriate floor tiles to activate the LED blink feature so that the home owner can be alerted to the mess.
On the configuration interface located on each camera unit, the user can select a from variety of modes, detection sensitivities and alert intensities for the system. One of these modes will attempt to enforce a cleanup by preventing the user from turning off the alerts until the mess is cleared.
Once configured and calibrated, the system will run unobtrusively in the background and will alert the user via the LEDs once the configured thresholds are broken.
As shown in the video, it may be easy for a product with good intentions to inadvertently be a hassle to everyday life. Thus design considerations must be made in order to prevent this. One attribute that IoT devices or systems ought to possess would thus be a simple method for the user to opt out of certain features. In the video shown, the smart floor would be much more tolerable if it could easily or intuitively be shut off. An alternative would be to design it in such a way that the alerts are not as aggressive as depicted and instead provide gentle nudges or reminders to the user.
Storyboard part 1: Introducing the Iot, why it would be a desired product. This shows how the SmartFloor can be beneficial to the person, and how it can be used socially.
Storyboard part 2: This part leads into the downfall of our product. it becomes a burden on the user, too many things become lit up.
The user originally begins by loving the device. It helps him find his phone when it falls under the couch, clean up spills of food or breaking a plate on the floor. It even encourages him to clean his room by illuminating certain areas of the room that need cleaning. After some time, this becomes a burden, he doesn’t have time to clean up his room and it begins to pile up. The lights make it unable to sleep and forces him to move to the couch. This progression leads to him eventually leaving the house and moving because he can’t take the lights flashing anymore and there is no way to turn off.
Towards the beginning of the project it seemed that our group had many interesting ideas but not sure how to implement in terms of this project. Once we agreed on the smart floor idea, we all seemed to immediately focus on the bad things and not the good aspects. Doing this in the future, we should really start by thinking of what makes an IoT great and desirable, and then from those reasons see how they can be manipulated into negative aspects.
We learned a lot from this project because it had a different emphasis than the other projects we have done. It was interesting to move away from the technical aspects and really explore how IoTs can impact our lives, both in positive and negative ways. The video portion of this project was pushed us to get into the user's shoes. The discovery that we had to complete before this assignment were especially useful because it provided different angles to analyze the IoT. It is really interesting to think about how these devices could potentially ruin our lives in various ways. When we think of IoT devices, it is assumed that they are all going to be beneficial and help us in whatever way that they are supposed to. But working on this project proved that wrong. There are many ways that IoT devices can go wrong. Overall our group worked well together and was able to split up the worked based on some of our strengths.
Illustrate the dangers of bad IoT design