Blnky is a smart blanket which knows everything about you. It tells you what to eat, when to eat and console's you when you are sad. It is your best friend, it stays with you all the time and never lets you feel lonely. It also allows remote monitoring of heartbeat and temperature for parents to ensure their kid is doing fine. However, as you grow old, it grows on you, you become dependent on Blnky for everything. You do not feel the need to communicate with other people. What happens when parents try to take away Blnky ? How does it effect you? We narrated this scenario ,wherein a little girl who grows up with Blnky is separated from it when she grows up.
Monitors - Blnky is designed with a set of sensors which monitor the below mentioned characteristics, and send these information using IoT to the parent for remote monitoring.
Blnky is also designed to learn and adapt to the child's mood and taste to make the appropriate recommendations.
Janice is gifted Blnky by her mother when she is young. Blnky keeps her warm, becomes her friend, tells her bed time stories and acts as her recommendation and reminder system. As Janice grows and becomes a young adult, she starts to lose her social life and only wants to be with Blnky. She is mocked by her high school classmates, but Blnky consoles her and makes her feel better. Janice relies too much on Blnky and slowly starts to obey orders from Blnky as it starts completely controlling her life. In the end, Janice becomes anxious and mad when her mother replaces her Blnky for a regular blanket.
This project helped our group explore the dangers of becoming too dependent on an IoT object. Based on our discussions, we propose the following design recommendations:
replace human connection. Humans are social animals that need connection with
others. IoT objects should enhance not replace this desire for connection
disconnect from their IoT products. Users can become very used to using a certain IoT
object to the point that they develop an attachment to it. IoT objects
should provide guidance and help users disconnect from these products when
they don’t need them
IoT objects can help sense and analyze a person's data. This data could be
used to encourage the formation of healthy habits for its users
Minimize the access to monitoring. Parents can use the blanket to monitor their kids activity and health. Although this is done in a protective manner, the data collected is an infringement of privacy from the child's perspective. Parents and adults should receive content from their kids and be allowed to only monitor them at specific times
Respect the unstructured development of kids. Kids learn in different ways, developing too much structure can create dependencies on products and have negative physiological effects on their social development