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log files. stories from the internet of things

Valentina Recheis, Helena Kappelmüller, Vera Tolazzi, Marco Langguth, Eva-Maria Schitter, Barbara Oppelt, Sophia Wäger, Maria Fröhlich, Theresa Korherr, Teresa Schuh, Sonja Thoms, Enikö Gál, Daniela Poschauko, Julia Singer, Yoon Kyung Lee, Jung Ui Lee, Ana Dumitrache, Anna Eickhoff, Martina Jäger, Hana Oprešnik, Annette Valcic, Marjan Moradhasel, Daniel Huber, Lisa-Marie Witting
Workshop, 2017
Visuelle Kommunikation (Grafikdesign und Fotografie)

Imagine this is the year 2030. The Internet of Things is in full swing and our world has developed into divergent social groups. In a two-week workshop, students considered every­day future situations in which networked devices take action, depending on different scenarios about data control and ownership. We wanted to know how the devices communicate with their users (i.e. their owners) in order to make decisions of an action comprehensible and to reveal the hidden lives of such IoT black boxes.

The log files reveal possible connections with privacy, transparency and participation. Each individual project provides a lens to examine the social, ethical, and aesthetic implications of the interdependence of society and technology in relation to the future era of connected things. logfiles. stories from the internet of things is a showcase of connected objects in different settings, dealing with possible, preferable and undesirable futures.

Design objects and artefacts are always manifestations of inherent needs, wishes, anxieties and values of their creators, developers and future users. The projects investigate into the hidden values and needs of artefacts and propose an alternative visual narration.

Scenarios with Self Control Data

The internet of connected things introduces new conflicts in the digitalisation of all areas of life. Our projects were developed on the basis of scenarios from the study "The Future of the Networked Society" by GDI[1]. In our scenarios with data self control control we are dealing with questions about security and privacy: How can we protect our networks and ourselves from cyberwar and crime? Whom can we trust and why? How far should machines be able to decide in our name? How can we guarantee protection of privacy and data protection in a net of the future? The two divergent scenarios show how we can enhance our skills and let us do things even faster, even better or how real life could be an escape to a disconnected world of an analogue past:

«Low Horizon»: People oppose new technologies and try to disconnect from digital information streams.

«Dynamic Freedom»: The internet will be created in a new, radically decentralized way, without a server, totally open, democratic and flexible. Creativity will prosper when people and machines cooperate, and technology will regulate itself.

Project supervision: Tina Frank, Marianne Pührerfellner, David Lechner, Barbara von Rechbach

Im Rahmen des Projektes entstandene Studierendenarbeiten

Monitoring Memories
Scenario: Low Horizon // Students: Valentina Recheis, Helena Kappelmüller, Vera Tolazzi
Monitoring Memories translates digital memories into an analogue object in the form of a postcard. Digital monitoring and data collection creates records, filters and displays according to the interests of its user. In order to leave our world to enter the digital world, the visitor will need a connecting element: "Connection Chips" help to cope with the digital world. They respond to the different needs of our inhabitants and protect them from total monitoring. Three different types of "Connection Chips" have been developed: The "One-Day-Connection" allows the inhabitants to shop in the digital world. It works as a means of payment and protects them against unwanted connections. The chip records the digital history of the whole trip for analysis. For a vacation in the digital world, we recommend the "Holiday-Connection". It makes it possible to pay in the digital world, to find one's way and to use the health care system in an emergency. To work in the digital world, there is the "Work-Connection". It makes it possible to connect with the workplace in order to carry on working, without restrictions. The chip establishes a means of payment, a salary account, and health insurance. 

Scenario: Low Horizon // Students: Marco Langguth, Eva-Maria Schitter
The installation Safetylog visualizes the epicentre of a safety dome scenario, where vast amounts of digital data are detected, collected and converted into analogue, action-orientated information messages. These data translations are written in analogue form easy to read and therefore made understandable for humans. The safety screen protects its environment from any intruding matter - any transgression will trigger an alarm and activate action. We have chosen a scenario with a small but skilfull intruder: robotic locusts. By contrasting the digital and the physical world, our system uncovers the antagonism of a world disconnected from the IoT. Safetylog presents the massive amount of daily information produced by contemporary surveillance tools and security protocols and enables us to experience an expression of the vast dimension of connected things.

Scenario: Low Horizon // Students: Barbara Oppelt, Sophia Wäger
We welcome anyone who is not a threat to us. In order to protect the values of our natural world, a body scan must be carried out before entering our country. HEALTH SCAN 8.0 analyzes the mental and physical health of the prospective visitor. If there are too many negative results, they cannot enter our world. HEALTH SCAN 8.0 transforms the most critical health values into a visual language. In the next step, these values are printed out and transmitted to the customs officer. Since we do not trust this technology 100 %, the human custom official has the final power to decide whether the person is allowed to enter our territory or not.

The Bed
Scenario: Dynamic Freedom // Students: Maria Fröhlich, Theresa Korherr, Teresa Schuh, Sonja Thoms
In our world where technology is accessible in abundance for everyone, economy and politics are being driven by individual customer choices. Every object turns into an intelligent assistant for you daily needs and wishes. Even everyday things like your bed collects, processes and transmits your personal data for the best possible support. It communicates with other objects, organizes your bedtime routine and even makes decisions  for you. It can measure and understand how you feel, what you need, and probably even what you think. According to your emotional and physical state it will adjust temperature, position, scent, air quality, light setting and many more parameters to make you feel good and find your much-needed rest.

Scenario: Dynamic Freedom // Students: Enikö Gál, Daniela Poschauko, Julia Singer
MOODIE is the reason why our scenario is the most comfortable among all. It gives its wearer ultimate support in every situation by constantly changing its material qualities due to interpretations of collected data. Its surface and interlining layers change their physical and tangible qualities according to the user's needs, based on data measured on the body, skin and outside parameters like temperature and air quality. We have chosen a stressful exam situation as an example to demonstrate the abilities of our dress in a pressure situation: The MOODIE provides a nice warming of your whole back while it stays breathable, and it helps you to stand straight by stiffening its structure in the spinal area. In addition, the Shirt has the special 'love' feature which gives you emotional support: the feeling of nice strokes or a hug. The MOODIE pursues the perfect comfort for the your body and soul, as a ready-to-wear fashion statement.

Scenarios with Third Party Control Data

The internet of connected things i introduces new conflicts in the digitalisation of all areas of life. In our scenarios with data third party control we are dealing with questions about network quality how can we create functional, fast and comprehensive networks? Will the real and virtual world become one? What new business models will emerge? Will everything be tailored to our needs? Will this apply only to those who can afford it? Will life be just one gigantic data clouds? Will only a view large players rule the world? The two divergent scenarios show how we can work with the data in the internet of things and how people will adjust to life in virtual worlds in escaping into gigantic data clouds of a near future or using them in new, productive ways.

«Digital 99 Percent»: Society is divided into a technical elite and the big rest of 99% of the population, who will work mostly in unqualified jobs and will be kept quiet with cheap entertainment.

«Holistic Service Communities»: People trust one big institution with all their data, which will guard them like a “Big Mother”. Life will be totally transparent and secure, as long as no one tries to leave the system.

Life of my Pet
Scenario: Holistic Service Community // Students: Yoon Kyung Lee, Jung Ui Lee
We provide full service for you and your dog. At the beginning of your pet's life, all its life, at the end, and even at the new life…  our wide learning AI helps you communicate with your special friend.  Your can play with your pet in real time, talk to it with our translator, analyze behavior patterns  and find critical information about its life.  Use iPet to monitor your darling 24 hours, live, and collect important data and information for all its actions, movement, emotions, heartbeat, blood sugar, blood pressure, and much  more…. You can see all the data visualized on the Dogcloud, switching to the iPet especially designed for you. Smart! The outstanding hologram camera provides a new form of  communication with your pooch that gives you an incredible image as it would be right next to you. Extremely fast, accurate, and sensitive! Unlimited memory. More storage. No more deleting photos and videos of pets - you can always expand your Dogcloud. Life of my pet offers a new type of genetic technology to make your dog immortal - create a new dog as same as your pet and upgrade its life for stage 2.0!

Care Ring
Scenario: Holistic Service Community // Students: Ana Dumitrache, Anna Eickhoff, Martina Jäger, Hana Oprešnik, Annette Valcic
Care Ring is a conceptual exploration of health care in the future: A ring, unique to its wearer, gathers not only information like blood pressure, body temperature and more, but also becomes the direct connection between the customer and their health care provider.  Instead of having to see a doctor in person the user is able to transfer collected health data and almost instantly receives an analysis, case history and diagnosis with a treatment. In a time where businesses take advantage of all personal data, health care is the last area of life where privacy is still valued and not easily given up for the sake of convenience. Data is always stored locally on Care Ring, until the moment the user gives permission to transfer information to medical personnel. The user is able to get insight into their wellbeing at any time by accessing the examination of their data — through graphs, charts, written text or spoken language. This bespoke analysis is tailored to the user's needs and medical knowledge, while the health care provider is able to see the whole picture with all necessary details. Misunderstandings are reduced as communication between patient and doctor no longer relies on a common language, and the user can receive information repeatedly from the ring, and at any given time.

The Token
Scenario: Digital 99% // Students: Marjan Moradhasel, Daniel Huber, Lisa-Marie Witting
In a world where 1% of the population holds all the power we introduce a device which is apparently part of the consumer but allows total control of the people. The Token not only categorizes and ranks its human user, it is the only authorized method of payment and identification. Worn on the wrist by the help of an implanted magnet, it is connected to a contact lenses the user wears the whole day for communicating with his environment. Constantly collecting information, personal as well as from the outer world. The Token advises and guides us through our daily life. Rating and saving everything you encounter, it tells you what to buy, what to eat and where to go, making the process of deciding and researching completely obsolete. 

Impressions from the Workshop

© department Visual Communication
© department Visual Communication
© department Visual Communication
© department Visual Communication
© department Visual Communication
© department Visual Communication
© department Visual Communication

[1] Karin Frick, Bettina Höchli; Die Zukunft der vernetzten Gesellschaft, Neue Spielregeln, neue Spielmacher; GDI 2014

Workshop ”Internet of Things“
© Abteilung Visuelle Kommunikation; 2017