A digital probe that contained catalogues of currently available IoT products, speculative probes from an alternate reality and news articles about the social, cultural and political implications of trust in IoT technology was made available to the participants as a website they could browse. Participants were invited to review the various IoT devices by leaving star ratings and comments for the products, similar to an e-commerce website. The probes helped stimulate conversations with participants about trust and the IoT. 

A Quote, from Walter De La Mare’s famous poem ‘The Listeners’ , creates a surreal and sensual atmosphere. The references to ‘phantom listeners’ and ‘voices from the world of men’ are meant to evoke the sights and sounds of a near future with inanimate objects that ‘listen’ in the shadows. However, poetry invites the reflexivity of multiple interpretations - which is important when creating a probe. News stories probe participants, inviting them to question notions of privacy, trust and IoT. Many of the articles straddle a fine line between present and future, real and surreal, seriousness and humour, reality and fiction. The articles ask - what would the IoT be when it is pushed to the extreme ? What are our limits and boundaries ? How do our boundaries stretch and bend around trust, privacy and surveillance? 


Visibility, Control and Consent as key features of trust in the IoT

 Participants understanding of the digital probe, their stories and narration of their experiences with IoT were discussed in open ended interviews. One on one Interviews were conducted to initiate discussions around trust and technology. Anonymised transcriptions of interviews were be studied to identify key themes emerging from conversations. Interviews and the digital probe offered insight that lead to co-creation and co-design exercises with participants in order to inform design features of trust and technology. Conversations with participants were transcribed and open coded to find themes and insights. Co-creation exercises uncovered deeper themes related to visibility, control and consent as key features of trust in the IoT.