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How to Do Things with Sensors

2019
Author:

Jennifer Gabrys

How to Do Things with Sensors

An investigation of how-to guides for sensor technologies

Sensors are increasingly common within citizen-sensing and DIY projects, but these devices often require the use of a how-to guide. How to Do Things with Sensors explores the ways in which things are made do-able with and through sensors and further considers how worlds are made sense-able and actionable through the instructional mode of citizen-sensing projects.

Sensors are increasingly common within citizen-sensing and DIY projects, but these devices often require the use of a how-to guide. From online instructional videos for troubleshooting sensor installations to handbooks for using and abusing the Internet of Things, the how-to genres and formats of digital instruction continue to expand and develop. As the how-to proliferates, and instructions unfold through multiple aspects of technoscientific practices, Jennifer Gabrys asks why the how-to has become one of the prevailing genres of the digital. How to Do Things with Sensors explores the ways in which things are made do-able with and through sensors and further considers how worlds are made sense-able and actionable through the instructional mode of citizen-sensing projects.

How to Do Things with Sensors

Jennifer Gabrys is chair in media, culture, and environment in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. She is author of Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet and Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics.

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