IoT Expo at IoT week 2019 Aarhus

We participated at the IoT expo at Ridehuset during IoT week 2019 in Aarhus. [ ]

Mindreading is all the rage

We brought our Muse headbands to the expo as a way to start a conversation about how quickly we generate data, and just how incredibly much our brain creates in no time. [ ]

The headbands was originally created to help with meditation training. They measure different brainwaves, while providing audio feedback through an app, indicating if the right meditative state of mind is achieved.

In reality they are relatively cheap EEG devices, and as such scientist have been using them to conduct experiments. This has seen them developing an app that can plot the data coming from the muse headband, using different graphs and raw numbers. This is the app we use to show, just how quickly we generate data with our mind. While the meditation app is used to lure people in and listen to us talk endlessly about data.

Meditation 9 to 5

The expo was visited by a great number of school classes from the greater Aarhus area. Who were all very interested in trying out meditation while getting their mind read. In actuality the interest was so great that we had long lines in front of our booth.

We had a lot of interesting conversations about relaxation, point scoring in the muse app and how relaxation can be more than an activity.

Patiently awaiting their turn to try the headbands in the meditation chairs

While a lot of our visitors were a bit to young for the entirety of our data agenda, we had a lot of interesting conversations with their teachers, and other participants at the expo.

And while the age of some of our participants might not have been entirely compatible with a hard data conversation. We had a lot of interesting conversations about relaxation, point scoring in the muse app and how relaxation can be more than an activity. Relaxation might be a state of mind, and not just watching youtube videos on the couch.

The muse headband and the data the children are immediately presented with (audio cues), allows us to somewhat share a mindstate. Having a common starting point, or at least, a common reference. We can discuss relaxation and what it is for us, to a much greater degree. Something that might be very needed in this time of constant input.

Concrete Oasis – The Sound of Aarhus

Just before the school summer holidays a school class, a 6th-grade, visited Dokk1 to participate in the test of our Micro:bits and the daughterboard extensions developed by the Alexandra Institute. These extensions have transformed the Micro:bits into tools which can measure sound level.


Our goal for the class was to teach them about data – what data is, what it looks like in digitised form, what we can use data for and, in this project, how we can use it to find the sound of Aarhus and eventually maybe find a nice place to hang out – a concrete oasis.

Due to a delay of the development of the extensions we had to change the set-up for our school class. Instead of two visits at Dokk1 with a week in between in which the kids would gather data by measuring sound levels at different locations, we had to scale down the test to a one-day visit.


When the kids and their teacher showed up, they were very much looking forward to taking part in this test. By starting the day with a talk about data – how we use and produce data every day – the topic of the day was soon clear.


This led on to a relevant and interesting talk with the class and afterwards we went on to producing our own data and to seeing how differently we all interpret the same data depending on focus. The kids showed their different interpretations by building data sculptures.


Now they were ready to continue with the Micro:bit set-up. We explained how to use the Micro:bits and then they chose a location where they would measure the sound level.


On returning they could see the sound level, a small blue dot with a number between 1 and 100 depending on the level.


Unfortunately, the class had hoped for a bit more, so this clearly shows us that it is important to spike up the project with more information on the map. The time of the day, date, description of the place and tags are all important features which could make the project more understandable and more interesting to the kids.

However, this test was very valuable to us since it gave us data and ideas on how to get on with our project.

Micro:bits & daughterboard for realtime sounddata

We have received our micro:bit daughterboards from the Alexandra institute (

The daugtherboards enable us to send realtime sounddata to a website developed by Alexandra ( They will be used in conjunction with one of our workshops for schools, called concrete oases. The workshop will be expanded upon in our upcoming dataworkshop cookbook.

Protective box for the daughterboard

The daughterboards connect with a Micro:bit, that can be blockprogrammed with codeblocks created by Alexandra, to act as a controller for the daugtherboard. This allows us to introduce the students to both programming and large datasets.

We are very excited to test out the boards and implement them in our workshops this fall (2019).

1st concept daugtherboard

Datajournalist for a day

Teaching young people about data by making datastories

In our ongoing effort to test and find the best way to teach people about data. We decided to teach people, by having them come behind the scenes and be the ones who made a datastory. Not just the ones reading and critiquing it.

Format and setup

The workshop was made with schoolchildren in mind, both due to the length and content. As such the workshop was offered in our school catalogue, where teachers have the option of reserving the workshop for their class.

The workshop is 4 hours long, from 10 to 14 o’clock, with a short break and a larger dinner break in between. The longer format allows us to expand upon the design proces and allow the students to go through a sped up design phase, before getting to grips with the data.


We begin by introducing the students to data as a larger concept, datastories, and how datastories are used to make sense of large datasets.

After we have explained data and datastories in a larger context, we give them the following infographic from the danish statistical bureau, with data of an average 15 year old boy/girl. We use this particular infographic, as our experience show that data is a lot more interesting if it is quite closely related to the participant.

The students are asked to ponder the infographic, trying to find aspects of it that they would like to expand upon. They are given ten minutes to find ten different aspects they find interesting and would like to expand upon. This is to force them to think broadly about the data blocks in the infographic.

Research and Prototyping

After they have found their focus, the student are asked to research the data behind that particular part of the infographic, and create their won expanded stories.

Then the stories are visually prototyped on paper, with input from the workshop runners.

Final product

After the prototype have been discussed and approved, it is recreated, with the discussed modification, in canva (an online tool for easily creating infographics

For more details, the workshop and how to recreate it, will be detailed in our upcoming cookbook.