Play with Tiles IoT Inventor Toolkit
Learn and invent for the Internet of Things
Zero experience required



Product development for the Internet of Things (IoT) is often pushed by advances in technology rather than human needs. We want to keep human drives at the center of IoT development by involving end-users into creative ideation and prototyping of novel products.

The Tiles project develops a methodology and a set of tools to accelerate collaborative learning, ideation and prototyping for the IoT.

Design process

Tiles IoT Cards are packs of cards with simple descriptions of IoT components, fun design missions and reflection lenses that help you to be creative, learn and invent novel IoT concepts. You can use the cards during research explorations, design exercises and school courses.

Tiles Workshop is a creative experience during which people with zero background in IoT use Tiles Cards together with design thinking techniques to ideate solutions to address specific domains (e.g. waste reduction, urban mobility, climate change).

Tiles IoT Stickers are the components of an innovative prototyping platform to turn ideas generated with Tiles Cards into physical interactive prototypes. Stickers with sensors and actuators give superpowers to the everyday things you already own.

Tiles Toolkit is a research project at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Tiles IoT Cards can be downloaded under MIT License.


Explore and compose everyday things, digital services and user interface metaphors

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sensor back sensor front
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human back human front
service back service front
thing front
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Things cards suggest a set of everyday, low-tech objects that can be augmented with technology to become connected and interactive.

Sensors cards allow to include sensing of the ambient surrounding the object.

Feedback cards describe how the things communicates information back to the user.

Human Actions cards propose a number of interaction metaphors. They describe how people can interact with augmented things.

Services cards list popular data services, social networks and sensor platforms. They inspire the design of augmented objects acting as avatars for digital services, e.g. a keychain that vibrate when a traffic alert is issued.

Be creative

Missions cards propose twenty provocative design missions centred on human needs and desires. They aim at triggering design thinking by establishing a creative dialogue among players.

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mission front

Reflect and improve

Criteria cards help users to reflect and evaluate their design outcomes by looking at their ideas through a set of nine critical lenses, acting as triggers for collaborative reflection. Criteria encourages trade-offs discussions and enable finding inspiration for future design iterations.

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criteria front


Scenarios cards are inspired by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals promoted by the UN. Scenarios provide worldwide recognized challenges where IoT technolgies can be used the work towards a solution.

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scenario front


Personas cards provides a list of archetypes that can be selected as target users for the IoT idea being created.

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persona front


Tiles Workshop is a 2-hours design experience during which non-experts (e.g. fellow citizens, makers and kids) supervised by professionals collaboratively ideate an IoT invention (product, service or ecology). Throughout a set of six design thinking activities participants work with preassigned problem scenarios and Tiles IoT Cards to creatively converge towards an IoT product idea. The outcome of the workshop is a storyboard and elevator pitch ready to be used following steps like prototyping and business development. The Tiles Idea Generator board and experts supervision enforce and scaffold the actions of workshop participants.

Workshop 1
Workshop 2

Ideation process and activities

The journey starts with a set of SCENARIOS and PERSONAS given to participants to choose from. Following, participants are asked to pick a few MISSIONS cards to spark creativity and inspiration. Participants are then in turn asked to choose and combine THINGS, SENSORS, FEEDBACK, HUMAN ACTIONS and SERVICES relevant for the chosen scenario. Drawing on the chosen cards, participants elaborate an initial concept and sketch it out on a storyboard. A refined ideas in now visualised on the INVENTOR BOARD. Participants are then asked to collaboratively reflect and improve their concepts using CRITERIA cards and to prepare an elevator pitch to present their concept to the the audience (other participants, mentors, investors).

Cards process


White paper

Tiles: A Card-based Ideation Toolkit for the Internet of Things. S. Mora, F. Gianni, M. Divitini - Proceedings of ACM Designing Interactive System conference (DIS), 2017. PDF preprint

Designing IoT applications in lower secondary schools. A. Mavroudi, M. Divitini, F. Gianni, S. Mora, D. Kvittem - Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), 2018. PDF preprint

Rapid Prototyping Internet of Things Applications for Augmented Objects: The Tiles Toolkit Approach. F. Gianni, S. Mora, M. Divitini - Proceedings of European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AMI), 2018. PDF preprint

Developer files

The source files for the toolkit (cards + board) can be downloaded from our Github repository. The files are in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign format.


Tiles is a project maintained by Tiles Technologies AS and created by Simone Mora, Francesco Gianni and Monica Divitini at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

We thank Nice, Norsk Designråd and NTNU Technology Transfer AS for their contribution to the development of Tiles IoT Cards.
The Missions cards have been freely inspired by David Rose's book "Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things", Scribner.
Illustrations by Francesco Gianni, Simone Mora, Anders Kjøllesdal, Jonas Asheim.
We thank all the users who took part in the evaluation of the toolkit.