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Exploring Interaction Design for the Social Internet of Things

Donald Degraen
In: Alessandro Soro; Margot Brereton; Paul Roe. Social Internet of Things. Pages 85-106, ISBN 978-3-319-94659-7, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2019.


The Social Internet of Things (SIoT) builds social capital by incorporating principles of Social Networks (SNs) into the design of the Internet of Things (IoT). With the ambition of improving network navigability and service availability, research targets granting smart objects the ability to autonomously socialize with each other. The resulting independently defined social network for things will allow devices to communicate with both human beings as well as other devices. Autonomous decisions made by social things require them to understand the context in which they operate. However, the perception and interpretation of context remains fallible. As social things act without explicitly making this visible to the user, there is an increasing inability to grasp, let alone control, what is happening behind the screens. By providing intelligibility or defining personalities, the user gains a better awareness of the system's functionality. In this chapter, we start by providing a short history of things that socialize and review related research. By gaining insights into the nature of interaction with both the world and autonomous systems, we frame interaction challenges with social things. We look towards literature in both the SIoT and context-aware computing to outline possible design techniques for addressing these challenges. Lastly, we discuss how future work can build upon our considerations to ensure natural and intuitive interaction with the SIoT.


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