3. “Little Helpers”

Internet of Things

This term is used to describe a current trend in design where objects act and communicate not only with humans but also among each other. Let’s list some of those past “trends” or “paradigms” which described our relation towards digital computers:

  • The computer as “Electronic Brain”
  • The computer as a tool
  • The computer as a medium
  • Internet
  • Social media
  • Physical Computing – DIY
  • Mobile internet
  • Big Data
  • Internet of things

The idea of “Internet of Things” is of course blurry but it helps us to understand current developments. Computers become ubiquitous, quite often invisible, and with high computing power, smart algorithms, networks, and interfaces to the exterior physical world objects can be turned into “smart” objects. Even more so our whole environment can be enhanced by countless digital applications.


When working on this last assignment we might ask ourselves questions like these:

  • How can we be aware of the computing in our everyday life?
  • Do convenient objects and servics make us stupid?
  • Do smart things make our lives easier? If yes, how?
  • Did we already give up on the idea of privacy?
  • How much optimization do we need?

Gyro Gearloose owns a light bulb that assists him. Which object could help you in your everyday life if it were a little smarter and how?