Candle 2.0 takes smart home privacy to a new level
The first version of Candle that was unveiled at Dutch Design Week in 2019 explored what was possible if privacy was made the most important value of a smart home system. It allowed us to experiment with some completely new ideas.
Now, Candle 2.0 takes those ideas to the next level. Through generous support from the Dutch SIDN Fund we were able to explore how Candle might develop into a more consumer oriented product that protect privacy while also being easy to use.
The Candle Appstore
Candle now comes with its own app store. As you'd expect, this allows you to add new features to Candle, and share your opinion on these features. More importantly, it also offers privacy reviews and allows you to add privacy ratings.
You can even search based on the privacy level you want. To our knowledge this is now one of the first app stores to offer this feature.
The appstore does require a connection to the internet if you want to download new addons. But it has been designed in such a way that Candle will not connect to the internet unless necessary. For example, it won't go online until you go looking for new addons.
Similarly, you don't need a Candle account to use the appstore. You only need one if you want to rate addons. And even here your reviews are kept anonymous where possible; other users cannot see your user name.
Soft to the social fabric
What all the examples above have in common is that they are an attempt to make smart homes more sensitive, and less susceptible to tech-abuse. Too often smart home systems harm our social fabric. We see smart homes turn into surveillance homes. We see technology that tracks turns into technology that stalks.
In the tech world you might hear people talk about the V's that determine if data is "good". Data must be as accurate as possible (verasity), it must be collected at quick intervals (velocity) and as much as possible should be collected (volume) from as many sources as possible (variety). While this greedy mindset is a good fit for the businessworld, it's not compatible with how homes and families function.
Candle challenges that mindset by collecting as little data as possible. We also believe that data doesn't always need to be or remain accurate and detailed.
We believe the challenge is not to collect more data. The challenge is to collect less data while still offering a great user experience.
Hopefully Candle 2.0 is a useful step in that direction.
Made possible by the SIDN Fund
Development of Candle 2.0 was supported by the Dutch SIDN Fund, as part of their "be the boss of your data" call.
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