Increasingly, Digital Media is being experienced through objects and interfaces that are not necessarily bound by the screen. The next generation of content products and services will have distributed and diverse modes of interaction where websites and mobile content will be only one aspect of the user’s experience. In order to take advantage of this shift, Ontario digital media and content companies need to leverage the wealth of technology, manufacturing, research, and design expertise available in this area and build capacity in designing digital media for the Internet of Things.

Bruce Sterling has famously announced the next shift in digital media; a movement from an “Internet of screens” to an “Internet of Things (IoT).” In this vision, physical objects, in addition to desktop, laptop, or mobile computers, become sources of digital information as well as the forms and interfaces through which we interact with a digital, distributed world. A quick glance at our current media environment demonstrates that this shift is already underway.

Since 2009, ThingTank (formerly DDiMIT) has been offering workshops and roundtable events aimed at fostering and supporting activity in this exciting area. Building upon this expertise, ThingTank will now offer professional learning courses and, upon completion of the core courses and portfolio requirement, participants will be given an official certificate on Designing for the Internet of Things.

The Certificate starts from the idea that understanding and innovating in the Internet of Things requires both ideational and technical skills. Therefore the curriculum includes both conceptual and hands-on coursework, and explores the various skills necessary to innovate within the Internet of Things. Current real-life applications of the Internet of Things will also be explored by the various courses. These include, but are not limited to: home automation, self-sensing technologies and green technologies.

Students will include:

  • Individuals interested in learning more about the Internet of Things
  • Individuals looking to build the skills to explore a specific project or idea
  • People in any discipline who want to understand the fundamentals of Internet enabled devices.

The specific professions that will be interested include; technology policy-makers, information analysts, information technology product buyers, designers, entrepreneurs.

The full certificate will be granted upon completion of four core courses (total 24 hrs) and a portfolio requirement. The courses will be taught in a laboratory setting, with the expectation that students will engage in hands-on activities and learn skills and techniques that will allow them to complete an Internet of Things device by themselves.


The certificate will produce graduates who:

  • understand the context of the Internet of Things, and are conscious of the types of skills and expertise necessary to innovate in this emerging field
  • are familiar with the design process (from ideation to prototyping) and can use their recently acquired skills to bring to life their ideas in a variety of format.
  • are familiar with the tools and technologies required to create a fully functional Internet of Things device
  • can define, use and manipulate data acquired via an Internet-enabled device in different ways
  • have the communication, project management, and technical skills to act as liaison between the developers and users of Internet of Things devices.


Free Introductory Evening
Friday November 4th, 6PM-9PM

Students enrolled in the Certificate program will be invited to a free orientation evening at the ThingTank lab designed to introduce students to the general concepts that will be explored throughout the certificate. Students will be encouraged to bring their laptop to install the necessary software (a list will be provided in advance), and will be given a brief introduction to how the courses and subsequent project showcase, as well as the required community hours, will play into their certificate.

This evening will also serve as a basic introduction to IoT devices, services, and infrastructures, providing relevant examples and a high-level overview of the current terrain. The history of IoT will be examined and its connections to topics such as ubiquitous computing and environmental computing will be highlighted. Design issues specific to IoT will be targeted and resources for supporting design work in this area will be provided. The event will be aimed at a non-technical audience and is intended to provide an overview and basic design knowledge to product managers, digital media professionals, and others interested in the IoT.

Main Contact: ThingTank coordinator, Marie-Eve Belanger,