8 March 2009

New frontiers at LIFT09

Be the first to share

LIFT 2009
The final session of the 2009 LIFT conference was about new frontiers, devoted to people who are pushing the envelope, and reinventing their fields in the process.

Melanie Rieback discussed the evolution of security with regards to RFIDs. Creating the future is also a matter of methodology, Clive van Heerden from Philips Design showed how they employ past technological failures to develop disruptive futures. And finally, Vinton Cerf showed us his perspective about the Internet of the future

Note: this post contains embedded video which might now not show up in your rss feed.

Melanie Rieback

Dr. Melanie Rieback (website) is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, in the group of Prof. Andrew Tanenbaum. Melanie’s research concerns the security and privacy of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, and she leads multidisciplinary research teams on RFID security (RFID Malware) and RFID privacy management (RFID Guardian) projects. Her research has attracted worldwide media attention, appearing in the New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters, UPI, Computerworld, CNN, BBC, MSNBC, and many other print, broadcast, and online news outlets.

Melanie is a “white hat hacker”, which means that she breaks systems in order to show to other people how to fix them, with a specific focus on RFID systems.

RFID is a technology that uses radio waves to identify things and shows much of the promise of the internet of things.

Melanie sees RFID as the new or next low-end of computing, with many of the same problems of previous generations of low-end computing, including hacking attacks, phishing, and spamming, but now they will start happening in the physical domain.

One of the problems with these very low-end, weak computers is that they don’t have the capability of being able to protect themselves with standard security tools such as cryptography. Anyone with a compatible reading device can access your tags much of the time.

In the media there have been plenty of reports of RFID-enabled transportation passes and credit cards getting hacked.

Melanie was the very first person putting a hacking attack or a computer virus on an RFID tag.

Master students in the Netherlands were able to hack a 2 billion euro public transportation in an eight week project.

In fact, in order to influence politicians it is better not to talk to them (because they won’t listen), but to demonstrate the attacks directly.

That’s where the RFID Guardian comes in.

The RFID Guardian Project is a collaborative project focused upon providing security and privacy in RFID systems. It provides audits and it also operates as a firewall. It is a handheld mobile device for RFID privacy and security management.

The basic idea is that it is a software defined radio, i.e. a piece of hardware that is fully controlled by software and specifically optimised for hacking on RFID systems. The RFID Guardian project can spoof RFID tags (pretend that they are one or one hundred), selectively jam RFID tags according to a user-generated security policy, even replay RFID tag responses at a later time.

In short, these systems are broken and will be broken more and more. We therefore need an RFID security industry.

Clive van Heerden

Clive van Heerden is creative director of Philips ‘Design Probes‘ programme.

Philips Design Probes is a dedicated ‘far-future’ research initiative to track trends and developments that may ultimately evolve into mainstream issues that have a significant impact on business. Emerging developments in five main areas are tracked – politics, economics, environment, technology and culture.

The outcomes of this ‘far-future’ research are used to identify systemic shifts, with the aim of understanding ‘lifestyle’ post 2020. These shifts could affect business in years to come and that could lead to new areas in which to develop intellectual property.

The way that technology is presented to us is often offensive: we have to confirm to devices, rather than devices confirm to us
Technology is still so unbelievable unaccommodating of human incompetence.

“What we try to do in Philips Design is not to propose definite product propositions, but present design provocations and assess the reaction to them. We are specifically looking at crises, to understand people’s reactions and therefore better understand the future lifestyle in 2020/30.”

Some of the probes that Clive showed included and with each he explained the sometimes unexpected reactions of people:
Off the Grid: Sustainable Habit 2020
Skin probe dresses (video)
Skintile: Electronic Sensing Jewelry
Skin Tattoo (video)
Food probes (press release | backgrounder)

Vinton Cerf

Vinton Gray “Vint” Cerf (born June 23,1943) is an American computer scientist who is the “person most often called ‘the father of the Internet’. His contributions have been recognized repeatedly, with honorary degrees and awards that include the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Cerf has worked for Google as its Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist since September 2005. In this role he has become well known for his predictions on how technology will affect future society, encompassing such areas as artificial intelligence, environmentalism, the advent of IPV6 and the transformation of the television industry and its delivery model.

I am not writing my notes here on his talk, since it goes beyond the scope of this blog, but you can view it in its entirety online (above), or check out an interview (below).

Be the first to share
27 November 2015
[Book] Research for Designers: A Guide to Methods and Practice
Research for Designers A Guide to Methods and Practice By Gjoko Muratovski - Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand and Tongji University, China SAGE Publications Ltd, January 2016 280 pages Abstract Design is everywhere: it influences how we live, what …
12 November 2015
Interview with John Thackara: how to thrive in the next economy
On the occasion of the U.S. launch of his new book, How to Thrive in the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow's World Today, John Thackara sat down with Core77's Allan Chochinov to talk about the book, …
10 November 2015
For years, Apple followed user-centered design principles. Then something went wrong.
Don Norman and Bruce Tognazzini are taking their gloves off and accuse Apple of abandoning the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, proper mapping, appropriate use of constraints, and, of course, the power to …
10 November 2015
[Book] Nudge and the Law: A European Perspective
Nudge and the Law: A European Perspective First Edition Edited by: Alberto Alemanno, Anne-Lise Sibony Hart Publishing December 2015, 400 pages Abstract Behavioural sciences help refine our understanding of human decision-making. Their insights are immensely relevant for policy-making since …
5 November 2015
[Conference] Design & The City, Amsterdam, April 2016
Design & The City explores citizen-centered design approaches for the smart city. Central theme is the role of design(ers) to create opportunities and practices for citizens, (social) entrepreneurs and policy makers towards more liveable, sustainable and …
3 November 2015
Another book entitled “The Quantified Self”
The Quantified Self By Gina Neff and Dawn Nafus MIT Press, 264 pp. April 2016 Oops, that is confusing: two books by sociologists on the quantified self movement, both entitled "The Quantified Self" and both appearing in April 2016. …
1 November 2015
User-centred design of the bridge of sea ships
The Rolls-Royce Unified Bridge Design has won this year’s Ergonomics Design Award, presented by the UK Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors. The award recognises industrial design which puts the customer at the heart …
26 October 2015
Madrid, the non-neoliberal smart city
Paul Mason, economics editor at Channel 4 News and occasional columnist at The Guardian, writes about an alternative smart city vision: the "non-neoliberal smart city" that is currently being developed in Madrid: Instead of seeing the …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

13 October 2015
Experientia report: Design for ageing gracefully

Design for Ageing Gracefully Rethinking Health and Wellness for the Elderly: Public Services Asian Insights & Design Innovation, DesignSingapore Council October 2015

29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness

As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council on understanding how the elderly interact with public services and how we can look towards improving their lives with design. […]

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
See all articles