Object Geography: The Internet of Things
Download: Object Geography: The Internet of Things
The emerging phenomenon known as the Internet of Things (IOT) refers to the technical and cultural shift anticipated as society moves towards a ubiquitous form of computing that facilitates the connection of everyday objects and devices to all kinds of networks. The analog bar code that has for so long been a dumb, encrypted reference to a shop’s inventory system will be superseded by an open platform in which every object manufactured will be traceable from producer to distributor, and potentially every single person who comes into contact with it following its purchase. Furthermore, every object that comes close to another object and is within range of a reader could also be logged on a database and used to find correlations between owners and applications.
The Internet of Things creates a link between concrete objects and abstract data, producing a hybrid of physical and electronic spaces that enables communication and interaction between people and things, and things themselves. It is an all-encompassing framework to reflect on and design towards more digital connectivity, a system that is local and global, accessible in real-time from any location. Through item based tagging and identification, the Internet of Things will take ubiquitous computing – anytime and anywhere communications – to the next step in networking: ‘anything communications’. However the Internet of Things is at risk of simply becoming a platform whose primary benefit is to offer improved indexing and tracking of manufactured consumer goods from cradle to grave. Therefore this paper aims to re-contextualize the Internet of Things, and explore theory relating to the attachment of data to an object, and as a result the role objects might have in our networks.
Take Me I’m Yours is a third generation Internet of Things (IoT) artwork that evokes ‘actions’. Deployed as an iPhone app that allows users to read a traditional barcode that is associated with everyday consumer items. Upon scanning a code the user is prompted with an action to do something with the artefact: “Give me to your neighbour”, or “Take me to work with you”. Through actions that correspond with ‘real world’ contexts ‘Take Me I’m Yours’ encourages the movement of things through people, places and circumstances to provoke new histories and question the perceived function and value of artefacts. When the Cornflakes packet is browsed at home by a family and it says “Turn me inside out and design your own packet”, the artefact is given a voice that provokes a self-transformative action.
Download: Take Me I’m Yours Proposal
Take Me I’m Yours is a project developed by: Rachel Clarke, Christian Dindler, Daniela Petrelli, Duncan Shingleton, Rachel Charlotte Smith and Chris Speed.
The Take Me I’m Yours artwork was developed during the Heritage Inquiries: A Designerly Approach To Human Values workshop at the DIS 2010 conference in Aarhus.
Object Geography: The Internet of Things
The emerging phenomenon known as the Internet of Things refers to the technical and cultural shift anticipated as society moves towards a ubiquitous form of computing that facilitates the connection of everyday objects and devices to all kinds of networks. The Internet of Things creates a link between concrete objects and abstract data, producing a hybrid of physical and electronic spaces, which enables communication and interaction between people and things, and things themselves. However the Internet of Things, resulting through the convergence of identification and location technologies, is at risk of simply becoming a platform whose primary benefit is to offer improved indexing and tracking of manufactured consumer goods from cradle to grave; through manufacturer to distributor, to potentially every single person who comes in to contact with it following its purchase.
Through the combination of digital art practice and theory relating to Human Geography and Actor-Network Theory, the author aims to re-contextualise the Internet of Things, arguing how objects endowed with informational shadows could create a new layer of complex relationships that were previously not visible in our networks. This in turn could allow us to rethink our understanding of the structure and agency of a network, by examining the pattern of interactions represented by how people to people, people to things, and things themselves are connected to one another. Networking objects means we could possibly gain new insights into how we make places, how we organize space and society, how we interact with each other in places and across space and time, and how we make sense of others and ourselves in our locality, region, and world. The Internet of Things may well provide a possible framework that not only allows human agents, but also object agents to play constructive as well as destructive and transformative roles in the social production of space.