Pin and play: The surface as network medium

Kristof Van Laerhoven*, Nicolas Villar, Albrecht Schmidt, Hans Werner Gellersen, Maria Håkansson, Lars Erik Holmquist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Integrating appliances in the home through a wired network often proves to he impractical: routing cables is usually difficult, changing the network structure afterward even more so, and portable devices can only be connected at fixed connection points. Wireless networks aren't the answer either: batteries have to be regularly replaced or changed, and what they add to the device's size and weight might be disproportionate for smaller appliances. In Pin&Play, we explore a design space in between typical wired and wireless networks, investigating the use of surfaces to network objects that are attached to it. This article gives an overview of the network model, and describes functioning prototypes that were built as a proof of concept.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


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