Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the home are gaining in popularity, generating exponential data byproducts. Yet, everyday relationships between home dwellers and domestic IoT data often remain secondary interactions, preventing deeper understanding and awareness of data tracked in the home. This design ethnography and design inquiry examines these human-data entanglements. Findings from working with 10 inhabitants who interact with their IoT data illustrate five characteristics of current data encounters: manifesting, inquiring, exposing, repositioning, and broadening. In response, we used speculative sketches to refine, refract and complicate these encounters. We argue that data do not have to be laborious, tidy or the byproduct of a service, but rather lively and affecting. We further suggest new modes of engagement with data which expand or step away from self-improvement and reflection: through diverse acts of noticing, by allowing data to remain invisible, and by embracing imaginative practices.

Collaborators: Audrey Desjardins, Jena McWhirter, Netty Lim, Heidi Biggs, Jeremy Viny, and Jack Sinclair
Grant: 2018 H2 Mozilla Research Grant

Desjardins, A., Biggs, H., Key, C., Viny, J.E. (2020).
IoT Data in the Home: Observing Entanglements and Drawing New Encounters. In Proc. CHI'20, New York, ACM Press, 1-13.

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