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VIRTeu Design Challenge: rethinking the connected home

Do you have a concept about living together in the connected home? The VIRT-EU Project is holding a design challenge to address how communal living can be supported and enhanced by the Internet of Things (IoT).
The deadline for submissions has now been extended to June 24th.

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For years we have heard that the ‘smart home’ is coming, using connected devices to transform everyday life. Personal assistants, remotely-triggered thermostats, responsive lighting and cooking, cleaning and food preparation apps and services promise to make our individual lives better by personalising aspects of the environments and information around us.

At the same time, the very idea of home is changing. Younger people now live longer with their parents, or return to their homes after study. People of all ages experiment with collaborative living and share spaces and experiences. Families change shape, and some people at home need extra care to accommodate age, illness or different abilities.

These issues of difference and care challenge the idea that connected systems are just for personal use. We share our space, our information and our devices in complex ways, even as we simply try to get through ‘ordinary life at home’. How might connected Internet of Things (IoT) systems and products enter into and change communal spaces of home?

“We share our space, our information, and our devices in complex ways, even as we simply try to get through ordinary life,” says Irina Shklovski, coordinator of the VIRT-EU project, which is creating tools and activities that help IoT developers bring ethics into their conversations. “We want people to think about how we can use connected Internet of Things systems and products to re-imagine collaborative and communal living that is sensitive to differences between members of these living spaces. How might we design for supporting the infinite diversity of human social configurations?”

Participants can submit their initial concepts now. VIRT-EU will respond with feedback and provide access to its custom tools to support the last stage of concept development. June 24th is the final deadline for full concept development, including a technical diagram, user storyboard and business plan.

Finalists will be announced between June 24th and June 27th, and will be invited to present their concepts as part of ORGCon 2019 on 13 July 2019 in London, where former US intelligence officer and whistle-blower Edward Snowden will be remotely delivering a speech about mass government surveillance.

The winning team will receive £1200, while the runner-up will receive £750. Both will receive an hour of one-to-one mentoring from an IoT industry leader.

Find out more about the challenge here: https://designchallenge.virteuproject.eu

Keywords

VIRTeu, Internet of Things, IoT, Technology, Ethics, Design Challenge, ORGCon, Edward Snowden

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