Internet Adhesives

By Michelle Thorne

Explore how to append the internet to everyday objects.

adhesives closeup snap

Currently, the Internet of Things has a lot of vendors competing to control the products and services in your home. These products don’t always interoperate with one another. This leads to consumers being locked into a vendor’s ecosystem (a so-called “walled garden”) or needing to buy complex solutions to get all of their connected things at last connected with one another.

This project argues that people shouldn’t have to buy a new object in order to get it talking with the web. It also argues that being able to open and modify an object is an important part of owning it.

Internet Adhesives by Michelle Thorne

How it works:

Each object receives a Unique Reference Identifier (URI) that can be monitored and controlled on the web using services such as If This, Then That (IFTTT). Special attention is given to the physical mechanisms of attaching the URI to the objects, as well as the physical attributes of the connection, such as durability, resistance to water, texture, weight and adhesive strength. Ideally, it should be easy to apply, modify and remove the connectivity an object.

This project proposes that the web is a tool that can provide interoperability. We suggest using web services such as IFTTT to get different products talking. The interactions you can create with these objects is explored in further detail in the Recipe project.

To demonstrate this concept, we displayed a number of wireless sensors, everyday objects, and various familiar mechanisms for attaching things. Visitors can play with the adhesive mechanisms and suggest ways they’d like to append the internet to their everyday objects.

adhesives closeup zipper

Design values: Networked, Interdependent, Readable, Open, Adaptable, Local