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Intergenerational interpretation of the Internet of Things

Brown, Michael; Coughlan, Tim; Lawson, Glyn; Mortier, Richard; Houghton, Robert; Goulden, Murray

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Michael Brown

Tim Coughlan

Associate Professor

Richard Mortier


This report investigates how different generations within a household interpret individual members’ data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT). Adopting a mixed methods approach, we are interested in interpretations of the IoT by teenagers, their parents and grandparents, and how they understand and interact with the kinds of data that might be generated by IoT devices.
The first part of this document is a technical review that outlines the key existing and envisaged technologies that make up the IoT. It explores the definition and scope of the Internet of Things. Hardware, networking, intelligent objects and Human-Computer Interaction implications are all discussed in detail.
The second section focuses on the human perspective, looking at psychological and sociological issues relating to the interpretation of information generated by the IoT. Areas such as privacy, data ambiguity, ageism, and confirmation bias are explored.
The third section brings both aspects together, examining how technical and social aspects of the IoT interact in four specific application domains: energy monitoring, groceries and shopping, physical gaming, and sharing experiences. This section also presents three household scenarios developed to communicate and explore the complexities of integrating IoT technologies into family life.
The final section draws together all the findings and suggests future research.


Brown, M., Coughlan, T., Lawson, G., Mortier, R., Houghton, R., & Goulden, M. Intergenerational interpretation of the Internet of Things. Horizon Digital Economy Reseearch Institute. Manuscript submitted for publication

Book Type Monograph
Deposit Date Apr 17, 2014
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Public URL


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