I teach the fundamentals, technologies and processes of the Internet of Things (IoT) within the program Digital Business Management (DBM) and Services Computing.

At this hackathon event, students were faced with the following situation: Imagine you were asked to develop a concept for a successful IoT application. Your team leads the development, but it does not include development engineers. How do you proceed to assess the success before you instruct the engineering and product development teams to actually build the application?

On June 30, 2018 the student team presented the IoT application Rubi the Brewbot, which gets you your personalized coffee. They used the living lab process to demonstrate and evaluate their idea. Check out the following video presentation to understand the living lab process when developing an IoT application.


Rubi the Brewbot, DBM Hackathon project @HHZ

Study IoT Concepts

Rubi the Brewbot gets you your personalized coffee. The scenario used the BSH (Bosch Smart Home) coffee machine in the Herman Hollerith Center. Rubi identifies the user and dispense the coffee accordingly.

Rubi demonstrates important IoT concepts, such as embedding. It tests and evaluates design principles like invisibility, manual override and feedback for an successful IoT application. See the team at action when developing Rubi the Brewbot during the hackathon.

The Rubi team at action

Developing Rubi using the Living Lab Process

The Rubi service is embedded into the real world. It avoids an additional and separate user’s operation at the machine. This concept is investigated using the living lab process. It structures the activities of innovating an IoT application and its development. It repeats these activities to learn from a prototype and refine it. It iterates through the activities Co-Creation, Exploration, Experimentation, Evaluation.

The phases contain the following activities:

  • Co-Creation: collecting ideas, brainstorming are the main activties. At the end, write them down in a structured way and rank them.
  • Exploration: using ubiquitously available technologies, e.g. QR codes and smartphones, for building mock-up prototypes
  • (hypothesis driven) Experimentation: run the mock-up prototype in daily routines close the aimed usage scenario. Before starting, formulate hypotheses you want to test during the experimentation. Define the data you want to collect.
  • Evaluation: utilize the data collected from the previous phase, evaluate the success by testing the hypotheses. Finally, re-enter the co-creation phase to refine the application.

Call to Action

Check out the team’s presentations and other resources and start your own living lab process.