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Salon Listening Things

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ThingsCon Salon: Listening Things

SmartHome Interoperability, Inference and Impact

Discussions on IoT and AI; Ethics, Privacy and Trust 

An STRP Festival partner event

#STRP #ThingsCon #iot #AI #Ethics #Privacy #Trust #SmartHome #Matter 

Date: 14th April 2023

Time: 19.00 – 21.30

Location: AI Innovation Center, High Tech Campus, Eindhoven

Registrations via our Meetup-page

STRP Festival: The Art of Listening: In a time when speaking is dominant, STRP asks how we can learn to revalue the art of listening. What would an environment for active and empathetic listening look like? How can we train our ears and hearts to be more receptive to our fellow human beings, to plants and animals, to nature? And how can we learn to listen more carefully to our own bodies and intuition?

“… A careful and critical understanding of the ethics of listening seems even more important when we consider that we are not the only ones increasingly focused on listening. Machines are becoming eager listeners as voice recognition devices invade our houses and (home) workplaces.” From:

ThingsCon Salon: Listening Things: During the ‘STRP Festival: The Art of Listening’, this ThingsCon Salon invites you to join in considering how the rapid proliferation of smart home technology is revolutionizing the way we interact with our homes and our lives. However, as this technology continues to penetrate our personal spaces, it is also critical to comprehend the implications of its use and the accompanying ethical, privacy, and trust concerns.

With presentations and discussion, we will delve into the complexities of responsible ‘SmartHome’ design as it relates to interoperability, inference, and their overall impact. We will take a deep dive into emerging advancements in the way devices interact with one another and how systems draw insights from the data they gather and consume. Additionally, we will examine both the advantages and challenges of inviting such ‘listening’ devices and systems into our homes and consider how this may already be re-defining the boundaries of privacy and trust.

Join this discussion on the potential and possibilities of Smart Home solutions and on the implications for responsible IoT design.


Interoperability is the ability of devices to communicate and work together, often through the use of APIs and other protocols. This is an important consideration for any kind of networked system, as it allows for the efficient sharing of data and resources which is considered key for a Smart Home to be able to work more effectively. With the launch of the Matter protocol in 2022 promises to give a substantial boost to SmartHome interoperability and usability.

Inference is the ability of devices and systems to draw conclusions based on the data and facts they receive. This can be used to detect patterns, make predictions and identify correlations from which further insights can be drawn or reactions triggered. This process utilizes a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and techniques, such as machine learning, natural language processing, and logical inference, to accomplish this. 

The impact of these technologies can be both positive and negative, depending on how they are used and the potential ethical, privacy and trust implications. With the proliferation of connected devices, it is essential to consider how personal data is managed, how privacy is protected, and how trust is established between the different actors involved. 

This text was written together with OpenAI GPT-3, image via MidJourney, prompt: “IKEA style picture of furniture in a smart home showing how it is sensing activities of the human residents



18.30 Doors open
19:00 – 19:20 Introduction
By Iskander Smit and Lorna Goulden (ThingsCon)
19:20 – 20:30 Presentations 
Elif Ozcan Vieira (associate professor TU Delft), on researching the future of product-user interactions in complex environments through audible, visual and haptic information design.
Bob Corporaal (design principal Clever°Franke) will talk about the design explorations visualising the feel of the smart home.
Joep Frens (assistant professor at TU/e, Future Everday group). He will share learnings on interactions in the smart home from applying the IoT sandbox by students through the years).
20:30 – 21:00 Panel and interactive discussion
21.00 – 21:30 Drinks and networking
21:30 Close

Registrations via our Meetup-page


Bob Corporaal

Bob Corporaal is Design Principal at CLEVER°FRANKE, an award-winning Dutch Data Design agency that connects people to data to empower insights, reveal new perspectives, and inspire change. With 20+ years of design experience, Bob has worked on a diverse collection of innovative consumer and professional products in healthcare, e-commerce, travel, and mobility. Together with his team, he continuously refines their approach, process, and tool set to adapt to ever-evolving design challenges and opportunities.

Elif Ozcan Vieira

Dr. Elif Ozcan Vieira, is an associate professor at the Delft University of Technology at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, where she teaches and does research on `form and experience-driven’ and `sound-driven’ design. Like the research on the Critical Alarms Lab. Her academic career started at the TU Delft as well, with doing a PhD study on product sounds (`Product sounds: Fundamentals and application’). With this study, I am the first to establish a comprehensive theory about product sounds based on empirical evidence.

Joep Frens

Joep Frens, Industrial Design TU Eindhoven

Joep Frens is an associate professor at Eindhoven University of Technology. His research focuses on the question of ‘how to design for open and growing systems’. He teaches courses on (interaction) design on all academic levels and advises a number of PhD students. In the academic year of 2014-2015 he held the Nierenberg Chair of Design at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Design. When he sees a sheet of cardboard he makes a model out of it.

Lorna Goulden

Lorna Goulden (@lornagoulden) works as a Digital Experience Principal and is also a Venture Advisor at LumoLabs and co-founder of the Twinds Foundation – an SSI and Disposable Identities non-profit. She also initiated the Eindhoven IoT Meetup and the Eindhoven ThingsNetwork and more recently, joined the board of ThingsCon. Her passion is to navigate between the different cultures of Design, Technology and Business. Building bridges whilst advocating more sustainable value creation that is driven by more meaningful user experiences. Together with ThingsCon she ran the workshop series the Trust Toolkit – with a vision to identify the tools needed to rebuild our trust in technology and data-driven business.