Last week, the TSB and Research Councils UK (RCUK) held a 2-day roadmapping workshop to better understand the Internet of Things in relation to the current cultural, creative and design, economics and business, social, legal and ethical and technology themes. The aim was to develop a multi-disciplinary understanding of Internet of Things (IoT) and to inform the councils, TSB, the Catapults, EU, policy makers on the key research challenges from a UK perspective in this exciting, emerging area.
Over 100 participants attended the workshop, and of these, 30 partcipants took part in the cultural, creative and design theme. It was an intense, busy and sociable 2-days. We mapped the current landscape of the Internet of Things both from an academic and professional perspective, and envisioned areas of opportunity and possible focus in the short and long term future.
We arrived at 8 challenges for research and R&D in the cultural, creative and design theme:
1. Meaningful frameworks that enable play, making and adaption in an agile co-development and co-evaluation research process. The emergence of hacking, tinkering and play in the cultural and creative community is obviously a source of innovation and a potential for economic growth and social benefit.
2. Making data tangible - all types of data. We see the challenge and opportunity to undertake far more work on the translation, visualization, and access to data in order to make data manifest, reduce its obfuscation and improve trust.
3. Understanding and knowing bodies; interconnections, disconnections and flow (representation, agency & power).
4. Working life in the future. What will it do to work, what will it mean to work, and indeed how will we balance home life and work life in an IOT context? What and how can we facilitate this, and ensure it contributes to improved quality of working and home life.
5. Digital life and death. We need to understand the life of digital things, how they transition between people and systems, their relationship to objects, how they are reused, decline and die.
6. Individual, Social and Organisational response and drivers to and for the IoT. What constitutes a reliable driver for the development of IoT and what models or algorithms in response to it are emerging.
7. Environment & sustainability; bringing the IoT thought into the sustainability space. Many IoT endeavours are are aimed at preserving the environment, reducing carbon and engendering a more sustainable forms of living.
8. Narrative, storytelling & user experience. Communication, discourse and user experience are going to be critical.
We are writing a report on the workshop themes which we plan to make available over the coming weeks.