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Designing and evaluating smart domestic technologies which use infrequent interaction

By John V.H. Bonner, Andol X Li and Jo Robinson


In the last decade research into ubiquitous computing has begun to examine the\ud home environment both commercially and academically such as MIT, Samsung and\ud Microsoft [Taylor et al 2007] although, as yet, smart homes have yet to move into\ud significant reality [Davidoff et al, 2006b] due to old housing stock [Edwards &\ud Grinter, 2001] which will require these new technologies to be integrated into a wide\ud variety of legacy environments [Tolmi, 2007]. One of the reasons why the home has\ud become important is simply due to the number of household computer-based systems\ud available [Wray, 2007] making it a commercially valid exercise [Hindus, 1999] todate\ud this has been primarily driven by technical innovation with user needs considered\ud as a secondary issue [Hemmings et al. 2002; Haines et al. 2007]. However, domestic\ud situations do not have the same focus on efficiency nor the same sense of shared\ud objective as found in the workplace [Crabtree & Rodden, 2004] and must therefore be\ud addressed differently to identify suitable technological solutions and social needs.\ud Designers must understand routines, functions and social restraints within the home\ud [Bernhaupt et al. 2008, Edwards & Grinter, 2001], in both the development of product\ud concept [Gaver et al. 1999, Davidoff et al. 2006b] and the physical integration\ud [Haines et al. 2006, Crabtree & Rodden 2004] to deliver useful and marketable\ud domestic technologies. Many of the products used and proposed in these studies\ud above place little emphasis on the potential frequency of their real-world use and how\ud this might relate to behaviour and acceptance; therefore, in this study, we have begun\ud to investigate whether or not intermittent use requires special attention in the design\ud and evaluation process and whether this can be successfully anticipated and measured\ud within a controlled laboratory environment

Topics: Q1
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:4713
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