Internet of Things (IoT) as assistive technology: potential applications in tertiary education

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Proceedings of the Internet of Accessible Things


ACM Digital Library


School of Science




Hollier, S., & Abou-Zahra, S. (2018, April). Internet of Things (IoT) as assistive technology: potential applications in tertiary education. In Proceedings of the Internet of Accessible Things (paper 3). ACM. Available here


The recent popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the consumer space and Web of Things (WoT) work by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has led to a Curtin University research project that has investigated the use of IoT by people with disabilities in the education space. Potential education-related IoT solutions raised in the research include the delivery of smartboard materials directly to the student to ensure compatibility with assistive technologies, the use of consumer-based IoT to provide captions and the monitoring of lecturer and student engagement in real-time to improve education delivery. While these technical possibilities are not new in their own right, the key points of interest from this research are that the students with disabilities, despite their IoT knowledge being limited to the emerging consumer space, have proposed these solutions as a way to support their learning. In addition, the fact such solutions are yet to be implemented in mainstream education settings despite the technical ability to do so raises concerns about the widening educational gap unless more effort is made by manufacturers to provide practical real-world IoT classroom solutions. While the use of IoT in these contexts may be considered an assistive technology in its own right, issues of privacy, security, and interoperability need to be addressed. As such, it is imperative that the W3C WoT work in this area continues to provide guidance and further academic research is needed.



Access Rights

subscription content