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The Little Book of Sustainability for the Internet of Things

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Published
Publication date4/02/2019
Place of PublicationLancaster
PublisherImagination Lancaster
Number of pages49
ISBN (Print)9781862203600
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There are numerous loud and powerful voices promoting the Internet of
Things (IoT) as a catalyst for changing many aspects of our lives for the
better. Think healthcare, energy, transport, finance, entertainment and in
the home – billions of everyday objects across all sorts of sectors are
being connected to the Internet to generate data so that we can make
quicker and more efficient decisions about many facets of our lives. But is
this technological development completely benign? Despite all their positive
potential, IoT devices are still being designed, manufactured and disposed
of in the same manner that most other ‘non-connected’ consumer
products have been for decades – unsustainably. Furthermore, little of
the discourse around the IoT recognises or responds to this growing issue.
We hope this Little Book will kickstart this important conversation and help
those creating future IoT products and services to consider new approaches
that have sustainability baked-in. Further, we propose the re-characterising
of IoT objects as spimes1 to provide an alternative approach for
enabling sustainable IoT device design. Spimes are a potential class of
internet-connected objects which, unlike present day IoT devices, would
be designed such that they can be managed sustainably throughout their
entire lifecycle, from their initial design and production, to having their
components recycled and reused at the end of their life.