Challenging the design of smart doorbells

Our graduation student Sofie-Amalie is creating alternative smart doorbells through speculative design to challenge the current design of smart doorbells (IoT doorbells with integrated cameras).
One of the 11 initial designs

Prototypes of alternative smart doorbells created by Sofie have been presented to the public during a pop-up exhibition at AMS Institute in Spring 2022. Her master thesis is published in the footer of this page.

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© Sanne Couprie
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© Sanne Couprie
Coen presents one of the prototypes during a working visit of the parliamentarian committee of Digital Affairs

Recent research amongst 5.200 people representative of the Dutch population has revealed that 640.000 Dutch households own a smart doorbell, introducing a new form of surveillance cameras. While numbers are rising, so are the privacy concerns.

The goal of this project is to kickstart a conversation about how to deal with the presence of smart doorbells in the city of Amsterdam. How could smart doorbells be designed in a way that they align better with the values of the city and its population?

Prototype 'You have a choice'

This prototype gives visitors the option to choose if they want to be filmed when they stand in front of the door.

© Sanne Couprie

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Prototype 'Let me work freely'

This prototype explores if delivery personnel could be protected from being filmed multiple times during a work day. This data could be misused. For instance, it could help create deepfake materials.

The yellow vest symbolizes the idea of cameras recognizing visitors from delivery companies by their work uniforms. When recognized as a delivery person, the video on the owner's phone could be partly anonymized.

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Inspired by Shutterring, privacy has been the starting point for this project. Based on three different definitions of privacy, 11 concepts of smart doorbells were prototyped and tested. The three concepts yielding the most interesting dialogue have been developed into proof of concepts that have been presented during the exhibition in Spring 2022.

As smart products become more prevalent in society, I think it is important to have constructive dialogues about these products, such as the smart doorbell. How can we design products that help create a public space that aligns with our values?”

— Sofie-Amalie Torp Dideriksen, designer, graduation student, TU Delft
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Some of the 11 initial designs

Sofie-Amalie has been writing her graduation thesis at the faculty of Industrial Design at TU Delft, in collaboration with AMS Institute and the Responsible Sensing Lab. 

Master Thesis: Challenging the concept of smart doorbells

Read Sofie-Amalie's master thesis 'Challenging the Concept of Smart Doorbells by Designing New Interactions based on Privacy' here and watch the video below in which close-ups and details of the prototypes are shown.

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Sofie-Amalie Torp Dideriksen

Designer, PhD student at the faculty of Industrial Design at TU Delft

TU Delft

AMS Institute