Danish ITU Challenges Designers in New Competition

IoT smart home

writer icon Emma Egelund     Thomas Kolnowski   |   Startups     🕐 11. Jun. 2019

Far too much of today's technology is being developed for the individual person, Danish University of IT (ITU) stated in a recent press release.

With their upcoming design challenge ‘Living with Difference in the Connected Home’, ITU encourages designers and developers to participate in the Internet of Things (IoT) competition, which focuses on a wider range of available software and hardware technology in the home.

As such, the VIRT-EU project invites designers and developers to come up with fresh ideas on how technology can account for the many diverse needs found at home, through a competition called the VIRT-EU Design Challenge.

All initial concept and ideas will be submitted on July 3rd, followed by a final deadline for the full design concept on July 20th.

New IoT focus needed
There is a need for more cross-utilisation of products, where users of IoT apps may have access to each other’s home IoT adjustments, can share running data with a partner, and so forth. And so designers and developers are advised to try to avoid redesigning pre-existing products or ideas.

“Technology is often designed for individuals, but IoT technologies in particular are very much about managing functions in the home. A lot of people do not live alone, and many live in constellations other than the so-called traditional of [having] two parents, 2.5 children and a dog. There are a variety of living arrangements where people with different needs live together for different reasons,” says Irina Shklovski, associate professor at ITU.

Shklovski is head of the VIRT-EU research project, which analyses the intersection of IoT and ethics. The purpose of the competition is to push designers and developers to think in new ways when creating IoT products, as well as “to test [their uses] in practice,” she adds.

VIRT-EU is a consortium of international organisations and universities seeking to understand how the Internet of Things (IoT) designers and developers enact ethics in practice in order to develop tools to support reflection on ethics, data, and privacy throughout the development process. Partners include IT University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, Uppsala University, Politecnico di Torino, London School of Economics and Open Rights Group.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 732027.

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