Surfing the Third Wave of Computing - Contracting with eObjects

Kayleen Manwaring


During the last two decades, a “third wave of computing” has emerged: a move from a model of accessing the Internet and other internetworks almost exclusively via a desktop computer to alternative forms of distributed information technologies, such as smartphones, wearable computers, and sensors and microprocessors embedded in everyday objects. Mobile commerce is now part of the mainstream of e-commerce technologies, with applications for mobile entertainment, retail shopping, banking, stock trading and gambling all well-established and on the rise. The widespread use of computing devices embedded into buildings and everyday objects has also moved from the vision of a few computer scientists to a (partial) reality, with current applications for home automation, energy management, healthcare and environmental monitoring, just to name a few. Current terminology used to describe the third wave such as ubiquitous or pervasive computing, ambient intelligence, or the Internet of Things, all have important limitations. Therefore, I have adopted the term “eObjects” for the central technological element of third wave computing. An eObject is defined as an object that is not inherently computerised, but into which has been embedded one or more computer processors with data-collection, data-handling and data communication capabilities. These technological developments have resulted in the creation of new things to be bought and sold, new activities for business and consumers to engage in, and new kinds of commercial relationships between consumers and businesses. My research project will examine how legal rules around the formation of contract and the enforceability of onerous contract clauses operate in the face of this socio-technological change. It is widely recognised that there are distinct legal problems which may arise in relation to socio-technological change. If the development and use of these new forms of information technology give rise to inconsistencies, unmet expectations and unpredictable outcomes in the law, this may well lead to substantial problems for product and service providers, as well as individual consumers using or interacting with the technologies. I intend to consider these issues in the context of Australian law and will also be guided by what is happening in international jurisdictions.


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Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Manwaring K. (2016). Surfing the Third Wave of Computing - Contracting with eObjects . In Doctoral Consortium - DCIT, (IOTBD 2016) ISBN , pages 3-13

in Bibtex Style

author={Kayleen Manwaring},
title={Surfing the Third Wave of Computing - Contracting with eObjects},
booktitle={Doctoral Consortium - DCIT, (IOTBD 2016)},

in EndNote Style

JO - Doctoral Consortium - DCIT, (IOTBD 2016)
TI - Surfing the Third Wave of Computing - Contracting with eObjects
SN -
AU - Manwaring K.
PY - 2016
SP - 3
EP - 13
DO -