MakeSense: an IoT testbed for social research of indoor activities

There has been increasing interest in deploying IoT devices to study human behaviour in locations such as homes and offices. Such devices can be deployed in a laboratory or ‘in the wild’ in natural environments. The latter allows one to collect behavioural data that is not contaminated by the artificiality of a laboratory experiment. Using IoT devices in ordinary environments also brings the benefits of reduced cost, as compared with lab experiments, and less disturbance to the participants’ daily routines which in turn helps with recruiting them into the research. However, in this case, it is essential to have an IoT infrastructure that can be easily and swiftly installed and from which real-time data can be securely and straightforwardly collected. In this paper, we present MakeSense, an IoT testbed that enables real-world experimentation for large scale social research on indoor activities through real-time monitoring and/or situation-aware applications. The testbed features quick setup, flexibility in deployment, the integration of a range of IoT devices, resilience, and scalability. We also present two case studies to demonstrate the use of the testbed, one in homes and one in offices.
Riccardo Pozza, Jie Jiang, Nigel Gilbert, Klaus Moessner
Tuesday, 12 March, 2019