The Internet of Things is driven by technological opportunism, characterized by the promise of ubiquitous connectivity. Creating meaningful technology for people within this opportunity space is a major challenge. While some applications have succeeded in creating value for people, businesses and society, many others are reminders that not everything that can be done, need or should be done. This project aims to explore how to develop a guiding COMPASS with which the vast opportunity space of IoT can be navigated with a view to create applications that are valuable, meaningful, empowering and trustworthy, maximize their utility and reflect responsible innovation. Such a compass is a tool for business to create such technology, for policy makers to provide the appropriate legislative environment in which this can happen and for research to identify existing knowledge gaps and define future research agendas accordingly. The IoT, as constituent part of the next generation internet (NGI), is especially interesting and relevant, as many of the opportunities and problems we see emerging in today’s Internet will be amplified by the pervasiveness of always-on and hyper-connected things.

To tackle this problem, we address the Smart Home, gradually expanding into the Smart Office and the Smart City, as an exemplary application scope, which we explore along the full range of layers – technology, users, society and policy – in order to explore negotiation spaces through which these layers can mutually inform each other. Especially interesting in this context are innovation processes with businesses which seek to create IoT technologies and services that respond to user needs and are mindful of their societal responsibility. Involving potential users, contributes to the definition of what it means for IoT technology to be valuable, meaningful and at the same time trustworthy and empowering, while engaging the society at large in a public discourse, together with experts from philosophy, social sciences, politics and jurisprudence, supports the development of agendas for policy making and education that are underpinned by productive visions for IoT in the future. The exploration of all these activities is driven by the core value propositions of trust, purpose, acceptance, control, ownership, competences and related risks and tensions, and eventually will allow to comprehensively evaluate their potential in a larger context.

The COMPASS project will have concrete outcomes in terms of a series of studies ad-dressing the following topics: (a) creating spaces for a public discourse to shape the future of IoT as a part of the NGI for people; (b) guiding businesses to evolve their processes to innovate in the IoT domain in responsible and human-centred ways; (c) developing strategies to embed responsible innovation in education of future technologists, and (d) supporting policy makers in defining legal and regulatory frameworks for shaping the future of the IoT landscape.