Branding Sweden as the ”Folkhemmet” of Internet of Things


The consumer-facing IoT-product eco-system is on the one hand at the top of the Gartner hype-curve, with a predicted turn-around somewhere between 275-1600 BUSD, and at the same time struggling with a whole range of issues that prevents its growth.

The problems can be summarised as:

  • missing de facto standards for communication, wireless connectivity, data, sensors and actuators
  • missing IoT-platforms connecting smart objects without locking consumers and their data into proprietary solutions, belonging to big companies, not sharing it between applications and settings
  • missing use-case infrastructure providing compelling applications desirable to consumers, beyond creating ‘Thing +1’: that is, everyday objects to which an internet connection is added, without adding much to the utility or user experience. We also have to ensure that ‘Value-added ≥ maintenance:’ that is, smart objects or applications where the perceived value is higher than the requirements on maintenance, such as upgrading software, dealing with battery consumption or repairing sensors or actuators
  • a lack of design thinking to bring out compelling solutions and applications
  • missing killer interface paradigm that can go across many different services, domains, situations, as you move between your home, garden, city, public transportation and so on, to make interactions compelling rather than nightmarish

These problems can be seen as obstacles or opportunities for the Swedish IoT-ecosystem to take on and attempt to tackle in order to unleash its, potentially, huge commercial potential, and bring solutions of relevance to society and consumers. We propose engaging in the following topics:

  • If it is not for all, it is not a revolution: IoT standards – of various kinds – need to support everyone, including those less affluent, elderly, young, those with illnesses or disabilities
  • Open data and data standards: to unleash creativity and bring out compelling use cases, open data in structured data standards are required
  • People in power need to procure & regulate: we need highly engaged, knowledgeable politicians and industry actors to engage, meet, and bring out the necessary policies, regulations and “first buyer” situations that will drive the development forwards while at the same time protecting consumers and citizens
  • Interdisciplinary knowledge and training – design thinking: education to train professionals from many different backgrounds in what IoT offers is needed in order to bring out compelling and relevant IoT-solutions
  • Branding Sweden as an IoT-nation: Swedish standards, values, participatory processes and the overall Scandinavian design model could help place Sweden on the map, once again making Sweden into a testbed and innovation hub in the world - building a new ”Folkhemmet” with and through IoT


Kristina Höök, Mobile Life @ KTH and SICS
Vincent Lewandowski, Mobile Life @ KTH
Johanna Mercurio, Mobile Life @ SICS
Mareike Glöss, Uppsala University
Jan Markendahl and Mårten Sundquist, Wireless@KTH Dina Titkova
Biosync Technology Lars Gullikson, Arvax Invest Barry Brown, Mobile Life @ Stockholm University
Anna Karlsson, Boris Design
Jonas Löwgren, Linköping University
Darja Isaksson, Ziggy Creative Colony

Friday, October 23, 2015, 10:00
SICS Swedish ICT, room Knuth
Isafjordsgatan 22
Kristina Höök