Things are Talking

Probably you are aware that when you visit a webshop, you will almost certainly be identified via your browser log-in and every mouse click will be stored and analyzed. In the background a webshop will compare your behavior with a number of standard profiles and gives you recommendations based on the group you fit in. A webshop will also look back (using cookies) at the last time you visited the webshop, and in case you did not buy a flight ticket last time increase the price a slightly to manipulate you in buying quickly, because prices are going up!


If you visit a real, brick-and-mortar shop you may still have the illusion that your visit is anonymous. This is far from the reality. New technologies like iBeacons, Bluetooth LE, NFC, Wifi and camera image processing enable shop-owners to get even more information from your visit to a real shop than from a visit to a webshop. The mobile phone you are carrying plays an important role in realizing these possibilities.

Some interactions will be voluntary, and completely within your control. This will be the case when your smart phone can read NFC tags. This technology can be used to make small payments (Apple Pay, Google Wallet), but also for interacting with objects. It is, for example, possible to ask a can of soup in a supermarket whether it contains meat. You can ask a lipstick whether it is the favorite color of Beyoncé. Some other interactions will be beyond your control, and take place whether you want it or not.

In this workshop we will explain the technical possibilities of NFC, Bluetooth LE (iBeacon) and camera image processing. Next we will organize a brainstorm. All participants can come up with ideas for amazing, funny, useful or scary interactions with things.