The range of devices that communicate via the Internet – the Internet of Things (IoT) – is growing rapidly. This, however, requires a population that can make use of the IoT. This may seem quite easy at first: whereas the 'normal' Internet requires digital skills for operating hardware and software, and for online information, communication, and content creation, these are partly unnecessary with the IoT, where data is processed in the background and decisions are made without user intervention. It seems a matter of just turning on the device and connecting it to the Internet. But it is not that simple, and our research shows that there is a greater need for digital skills.
The project 'Any Thing for Anyone' was launched to investigate digital inclusion in relation to the IoT. After all, there ar emany potential benefits for individuals and for society. Smart devices can support individuals in making better decisions, for example, about energy consumption or health. Furthermore, the production of so-called big data that smart devices collect is a public good that policymakers can use for critical decisions.
Funding: NWO VIDI
Further information: Centre for Digital Inclusion