Smart Bugs and Digital Banana Peels: Accidental Humor in Smart Environments?

  • Anton NijholtEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9749)


In this paper we look at possibilities to introduce humorous situations in smart environments. The assumption is that in future smart environments we have the possibility to configure and even real-time reconfigure environments in a way that humorous situations can be created or that conditions for humorous situations to emerge can be implemented. However, in order to do so we need to investigate how unplanned and unintended humor can emerge when users are confronted with unknown technology or surprising behavior of new (digital) technology. We can design jokes and humorous interactions and situations in movies, on stage, in literature, or in videogames. When we introduce unfamiliar technology or even imperfect technology we can expect that its use leads to humorous situations. Although intentionally and autonomously creating humorous situations by smart sensor and actuator technology is an ultimate goal, in this paper we look at situations and the ‘design’ of situations that possibly lead to humor because of users interacting with the environment. Users are not necessarily aware of how the environment expects them to behave, and they are probably not aware of shortcomings of the environment. Unintended humor from the point of view of a smart environment designer can also happen when a user starts to exploring shortcomings in order to generate humorous situations. In this paper we have some preliminary observations, mainly by looking at examples and design approaches, on designing environments where such accidental humor can emerge.


Humor Human-computer interaction Accidental humor Smart environments Sensors Actuators Games Entertainment 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Imagineering InstituteIskandarMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty EEMCSUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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