Anuradha Reddy
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I’m Anu! I research, make, craft, code, and sometimes, I hack things.

I’m Anu! I research, make, craft, code, and sometimes, hack things.

Thing (Data) Perspectives 🛠️👀️

In collaboration with K3/IoTaP - Malmö University and Studio Lab - IDE, TU Delft
Project partners: Elisa Giaccardi, Professor, IDE - TU Delft
Technical assistance: Thomas Van Arkel, TU Delft
Funding partner - School of Arts, Culture and Communication (K3), Malmö University, Sweden

This is a technical experiment to elicit thing perspectives using distance sensors and a camera via wireless protocols (xBee). The photo documentation depicts the process below.

Choosing between various distance sensors

Testing network communication between xBee module and the camera

Testing if the sensors trigger the camera

Online interface for viewing the captured camera footage

Instrumenting things
Test Setup deployed in the hallways of Studio Lab at Technical University in Delft.
Objects instrumented with distance sensors:


Coffee machine 


Test results

A visual analysis corresponding to photos derived from the sensor triggers showed that the method can be used to explore the relationships between humans and things.

As shown in the image below, 60 frames between 11:20AM to 14:00PM were analysed. Even though the results were not surprising, the method did confirm that people who used the printer were not as social as those who used the coffee machine and the microwave. In that, social activity between individuals who used the coffee machine was greater after lunch. However, the results were biased towards the microwave as the test was conducted before, during and after lunch hour.

For further information regarding 'thing ethnography,' please check Professor Elisa Giaccardi's work.