Living Inside a Smart Home: A Case Study

DOI: 10.1007/1-85233-854-7_12
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    ABSTRACT: Critical design issues (CDIs) are a prominent topic in the literature on Smart Home service design and engineering. Smart Home technologies (i.e., products and services) have to meet one or more of these CDIs in order to become or be perceived as being valuable for customers and providers. However, the CDIs mentioned in Smart Home literature are extremely heterogeneous in nature. Moreover, it is not evident why some CDIs are included and others are not. Based on multiple theoretical concepts from various disciplines including system engineering, human–computer interaction, strategic management, and innovation management, three perspectives are proposed, focusing on the customer, provider, and interface of a system or artefact. By using these perspectives, a large number of CDIs are identified and clustered. The CDIs in question help Smart Home designers, engineers and providers: 1) consider a vast range of CDIs that may be critical to the intended technology; and 2) encourage them to apply a multi–perspective approach to meet the needs of customers and providers as well as the technological requirements.
    J of Design Research 05/2013; 11(1):72-90.
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers who develop new home technologies using connected devices (e.g. sensors) often want to conduct large-scale field studies in homes to evaluate their technology, but conducting such studies today is quite challenging, if not impossible. Considerable custom engineering is required to ensure hardware and software prototypes work robustly, and recruiting and managing more than a handful of households can be difficult and cost-prohibitive. To lower the barrier to developing and evaluating new technologies for the home environment, we call for the development of a shared infrastructure, called HomeLab. HomeLab consists of a large number of geographically distributed households, each running a common, flexible framework (e.g., HomeOS [4]) in which experiments are implemented. The use of a common framework enables engineering effort, along with experience and expertise, to be shared among many research groups. Recruitment of households to HomeLab can be organic: as a research group recruits (a few) households to participate in its field study, these households can be invited to join HomeLab and participate in future studies conducted by other groups. As the pool of households participating in HomeLab grows, we hope that researchers will find it easier to recruit a large number of households to participate in field studies.
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    ABSTRACT: When developing new ICT systems and applications for domestic environments, rich qualitative approaches improve the understanding of the user's integral usage of technology in their daily routines and thereby inform design. This knowledge will often be reached through in-home studies, strong relationships with the users and their involvement in the design and evaluation process. However, whilst this kind of research offers valuable context insights and brings out unexpected findings, it also presents methodological, technical and organizational challenges for the study design and its underlying cooperation processes. In particular, due to heterogeneous users in households in terms of technology affinity, individual needs, age distribution, gender, social constellations, personal role assignment, project expectations, etc. it produces particular demands to collaborate with users in the design process and thereby exposes a range of practical challenges. The full-day workshop wishes to identify these practical challenges, discuss best practice and develop a roadmap for sustainable relationships for design with users.
    Proceedings of the companion publication of the 17th ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work & social computing; 02/2014