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Smart homes and their users: a systematic analysis and key challenges
Wilson C., Hargreaves T., Hauxwell-Baldwin R. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing19 (2):463-476,2015.Type:Article
Date Reviewed: Nov 2 2015

Pervasive and ubiquitous computing have been around for many years now, but the promised technologies and their adoption have had questionable results. The authors of this paper question who the users are for smart homes and whether there is any real demand for such technologies.

Wilson et al. conducted research to try to determine the prospective users of smart homes. They conclude the paper with an interesting statement:

The result is that current visions of smart homes have a limited appeal to users and are perceived as failing to meet user needs. This has given rise to what Nyborg and Røpke term “funwashing” as smart home developers seek to broaden the appeal of smart homes because the basic functionality they offer has not proven [to be] as attractive as initially hoped.

Given the lack of heavy formalisms and scientific rigor in the paper, it should prove useful for those developers and technologists seeking to understand the business potential of these technologies and the market segmentation. For instance, homes with elderly people or babies, or those with special needs, may be more appropriate for the adoption of these technologies. The paper could be a good starting point for social scientists who are trying to deepen their understanding of the links between users and pervasive technologies.

Reviewer:  Epaminondas Kapetanios Review #: CR143901 (1601-0082)
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