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Journal of Interactive Media

Editor-in-Chief: Ziegler, Jürgen

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Volume 17, Issue 2


Sensing Home: Designing an Open Tool That Lets People Collect and Interpret Simple Sensor Data from Their Homes

Arne Berger
  • Corresponding author
  • 38869 Technische Universität Chemnitz, Computer Science, Chair Media Informatics, Chemnitz, 09107, Germany
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/ Albrecht Kurze / Sören Totzauer / Michael Storz / Kevin Lefeuvre / Andreas Bischof / Mira Freiermuth
Published Online: 2018-08-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/icom-2018-0013


The Internet of Things in the home is a design space with huge potential. With sensors getting smaller and cheaper, smart sensor equipped objects will become an integral, preinstalled part of the future home. With this article we will reflect on Sensing Home, a design tool to explore sensors in the home together with people. Sensing Home allows people to integrate sensors and connectivity into mundane domestic products in order to make them smart. As such, it can be used by people to experience and explore sensors in the home and daily life. They may explore possible use cases, appropriate sensor technology, and learn about this technology through use. At the same time people may also be empowered to understand the issues and implications of sensors in the home. We present the design rationale of Sensing Home, five usage examples of how Sensing Home allowed people to explore sensor technology, and the deployment of Sensing Home together with a self-developed group discussion method to empower people to understand the benefits and pitfalls of sensors in their home. The article ends with a brief reflection whether Sensing Home is a probe or a toolkit.

Keywords: smart home; Internet of Things; Co-Design; Participatory Design; Interaction Design; Sensemaking


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About the article

Arne Berger

Arne was born in the 70ies in the Eastern Bloc. He is an interaction design researcher and post doctoral researcher at Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany, where he explores novel modes of co-creation of smart connected technology in the context of the home.

Albrecht Kurze

Albrecht has a PhD in computer science. His research interests are networking aspects in all flavors and especially the Internet of Things. He develops not only the technology for it but is also interested in the innovation potential and the created implications.

Sören Totzauer

Sören studied informatics. He is interested in bringing together social dynamics and technological possibilities. His current research interests focuses on Ideation Processes and Tools to foster creativity.

Michael Storz

Michael is a human-computer interaction researcher. In his research he studies and develops interactive devices for groups. His current interest is in the participative R&D for groups of older adults.

Kevin Lefeuvre

Kevin is a product designer with a master degree from Bauhaus-University Weimar. He is a tinkerer by profession and a user advocate by heart. At Miteinander he is exploring co-design methods and building co-design tools for designing smart connected fictions, scenarios, and devices.

Andreas Bischof

Andreas studied sociology and cultural sciences. He is interested in the technical mediation of interaction and the technization of social situations. His current projects concern technology for age and ageing, and participative R&D with older adults.

Mira Freiermuth

Mira is a sociologist. The methods of qualitative social research provide her with tools to accompany, understand and reflect on human-computer interaction. For her, the participation of people affected by technology in the process of development is most important; technology from people for people.

Published Online: 2018-08-07

Published in Print: 2018-08-28

Citation Information: i-com, Volume 17, Issue 2, Pages 153–167, ISSN (Online) 2196-6826, ISSN (Print) 1618-162X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/icom-2018-0013.

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