Sherlock Global Challenge

On Oct 24th & 25th, Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things events will be staged around the world. Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things is an ongoing prototype developed and run by the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab and Learn Do Share @Columbia that explores new forms and functions of storytelling. Designed to be an open R&D space (released under a creative commons license) that experiments with shifts in authorship and ownership of stories, the massive collaboration also uses a detective narrative to examine the policy and ethical issues surrounding the Internet of Things.

The goal of Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things is to build a massive connected crime scene consisting of smart storytelling objects. This summer and fall teams will create, design, build and test prototypes that will be plugged into a number of crime scenes located around the world.

Goals of the project

To explore new methods of collaboration
To create an open resource for IoT and storytelling
To provide a space for global networking
To create a learning opportunity that’s tied to an actual project
To be transparent and share the results of the experiment as we go
To create new spaces for Story-driven R&D


Sherlock Global Challenge Cities

NYC, LA, Washington D.C., Boston, Montreal, Toronto, London, Paris, Barcelona, Warsaw, Rome, Turin, Auckland, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Sao Paulo.



The Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab and IoT Center / NYC IoT present

Sherlock Global Challenge – NYC a special event on Columbia’s Campus for 40 participants. Join storytellers, makers, hackers, game designers, academics and fans of Sherlock Holmes for a day of design, prototyping and hacking.

Sunday, October 25th
10am to 6pm

601 Fairchild
Morningside Campus

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 12.50.59 AM


Our first connected object is a Rotary Phone

We’re excited to announce the first connected object for Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things. Big thanks to Nihal Kashinath, Sayan Chakraborty and the full team at IoTBLR and Workbench. 
Over the course of the last year a team in NYC has been gathering to design, refine and build elements for our first connected crime scene which will be held at Lincoln Center during the New York Film Festival on Sept 26th & 27th. The meetup groups helped to define a spec for the Rotary Phone which is intended to guide participants/players through a massive crime scene. It is aware of its surroundings, can trigger various media based on proximity, time and user interaction plus it can record audio. 
Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things is a copyleft project released under a creative commons sharealike commercial license. We’re thrilled to share the code and documentation for the Rotary Phone and excited to see what people will do with it. 


 Full code and documentation can be found at


We’ll be sending logistical details to all those who will be attending early next week. If you have any questions please contact us.


Team Sherlock


Lab Prototypes