Children and young people are increasingly confronted with IoT devices such as smart watches, smart speakers or smart toys, which are progressively permeating our everyday lives. The numerous possible uses are being recognized, however, oftentimes even adults are hardly aware of the underlying security aspects and risks. Measures to raise awareness of IoT security and skills in dealing with IoT devices will inevitably become a necessity. IoThink aims to meet this need for information by developing a knowledge platform to inform young people on potential risks and opportunities offered by the internet of things.
In today’s world we can hardly differentiate between “offline” and “online”. More and more devices are connected to the Internet and think ahead. In the future, for example, our cars could communicate with your house on the way home to already switch on the heating and the lights. This is made possible by the Internet of Things. The term comes from the IT sector and means that everyday objects are connected with one another via the Internet.
The idea is not new: an IoT device was connected to the Internet for the first time in the 1980s. There are now even more IoT devices than people around the world: In 2008, the number of devices connected to the Internet was for the first time higher than that of people on our planet. By the end of 2018 there were an estimated 22 billion internet of things (IoT) connected devices, with numbers further rising.
This rapid rise in the development and marketization of IoT devices will continue throughout the next years to come and increasingly underlines the need of measures to raise awareness for IoT security as well as imparting competence in dealing with IoT devices – especially with regard to the potential damage of numerous threat scenarios.
IoThink tries to build on this observation and conveys skills on handling IoT-devices to a broader population. In particular, the project aims to reach children and young people between the ages of 10 and 16. The project is being funded by netidee, Austria’s largest internet funding campaign. SYNYO will carry out the project over the course of 12 months and is responsible for conceptualization, development of all materials and their implementation on the IoThink platform.
We believe that young people in particular are the best multipliers when it comes to the safe use of new technologies. Therefore, we want to encourage them to deal with the topic of IoT and security in a playful and easy way. As “early adopters” they also belong to the group of consumers who try out trends at an early stage and help shape them in the long term. In addition to children and young people, parents as well as teachers and carers are among our main target groups.
Figure 1: Netidee Community Camp 2018
The Netidee Community Camp marked the kick-off of the project and took place on November 22nd & 23rd 2018 in the Impact Hub Vienna. The fruitful exchange with other related projects as well as the opportunity to get feedback from specialist mentors also offered the opportunity to develop the project idea further as part of this event.
If you want to find further information, news and status updates on IoThink, check out the project´s netidee page as well as our upcoming web platform iothink.at.
IoThink on netidee
Netidee Internet Funding Campaign
Internet of Things, netidee, kids & youth, connected devices