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Title: The Internet of Things : the language and practice of early IoT adopters, 2011-2013
Author: Strazdina, Ilze
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 8487
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis examines the discourse and practice surrounding the technological development of the Internet of Things, and its expansion at the start of the second decade of the 21st century. The initial motivation for the Internet of Things was a fusion of the physical and digital worlds, enabled by pervasive network connectivity: "anything, anytime, anywhere". Grounded in a rhetoric of a connected world, future sustainability, and improvements brought by the deployment of innovative technosocio- economic-environmental systems, claims were made that the IoT would not only deliver solutions to humanity's ever-growing needs, but would also lead to a shift in the very principles governing such systems. This thesis argues for the need to readdress the dominant IoT discourse, not only by an analysis of discourse, but also by an analysis of the practices that fostered the development of this phenomenon. The study at the centre of this thesis is focused on a community of open source developers, artists, architects and computer enthusiasts who were curious about the possibilities opened up by this next stage of technological development, and who went on to test and re-imagine the use and deployment of the IoT. This ethnographic study follows the development of the first IoT platform, the creation of a communityled air quality network, and the emergence of the Open IoT framework. Through an analysis of practice, and an examination of its conceptual content and organisation in language, this thesis reveals how the space of the IoT was imagined, experienced and lived in. The thesis argues that investigations led by these early adopters and the reimagining of what Lefebvre called the "dominant space" pioneered the IoT discussion and its development during 2011-2013 in London, Europe, and America. Connecting with the social theorists in the fields of critical theory, phenomenology and social geography, this thesis provides a new viewpoint on technological development, and in consequence, it expands the currently rather technological discourse of the IoT.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC ; AHRC ; Queen Mary University of London
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available