Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 463–476 | Cite as

Smart homes and their users: a systematic analysis and key challenges

  • Charlie Wilson
  • Tom Hargreaves
  • Richard Hauxwell-Baldwin
Original Article

Abstract

Published research on smart homes and their users is growing exponentially, yet a clear understanding of who these users are and how they might use smart home technologies is missing from a field being overwhelmingly pushed by technology developers. Through a systematic analysis of peer-reviewed literature on smart homes and their users, this paper takes stock of the dominant research themes and the linkages and disconnects between them. Key findings within each of nine themes are analysed, grouped into three: (1) views of the smart home—functional, instrumental, socio-technical; (2) users and the use of the smart home—prospective users, interactions and decisions, using technologies in the home; and (3) challenges for realising the smart home—hardware and software, design, domestication. These themes are integrated into an organising framework for future research that identifies the presence or absence of cross-cutting relationships between different understandings of smart homes and their users. The usefulness of the organising framework is illustrated in relation to two major concerns—privacy and control—that have been narrowly interpreted to date, precluding deeper insights and potential solutions. Future research on smart homes and their users can benefit by exploring and developing cross-cutting relationships between the research themes identified.

Keywords

Smart homes Users Technologies Households Energy Assisted living 

References

  1. 1.
    AECOM and OFGEM (2011) Energy demand research project: final analysis. AECOM Limited, St. AlbansGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    AlAbdulkarim L, Lukszo Z, Fens T (2012).Acceptance of privacy-sensitive technologies: smart metering case in The Netherlands. Third international engineering systems symposium CESUN 2012, Delft University of Technology, 18–20 June 2012Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Aldrich FK (2003) Smart homes: past, present and future. In: Harper R (ed) Inside the smart home. Springer, London, pp 17–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Allcott H (2011) Rethinking real-time electricity pricing. Resour Energy Econ 33(4):820–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Axsen J, Kurani KS (2012) Social influence, consumer behavior, and low-carbon energy transitions. Annu Rev Environ Resour 37(1):311–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Baillie L, Benyon D (2008) Place and technology in the home. Comput Support Coop Work 17:227–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bainbridge L (1983) Ironies of automation. Automatica 19(6):775–779CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Balta-Ozkan N, Davidson R, Bicket M, Whitmarsh L (2013) Social barriers to the adoption of smart homes. Energy Policy. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2013.08.043
  9. 9.
    Berg C (1994) A gendered socio-technical construction: the smart house. In: Cockburn C, Furst-Dilic R (eds) Bringing technology home: gender and technology in a changing Europe. Open University Press, BuckinghamGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Beringer R, Sixsmith A, Campo M, Brown J, McCloskey R (2011). The ‘acceptance’ of ambient assisted living: developing an alternate methodology to this limited research lens. In: Towards useful services for elderly and people with disabilities. Proceedings of the 9th international conference on smart homes and health telematics (ICOST 2011), Montreal, Canada, June 2011, pp 161–167Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bernhaupt R, Obrist M, Weiss A, Beck E, Tscheligi M (2008) Trends in the living room and beyond: results from ethnographic studies using creative and playful probing. ACM Comput Entertain 6(1):5:1–5:23Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bernheim Brush AJ, Lee B, Mahajan R, Agarwal S, Saroiu S, Dixon C (2011) Home automation in the wild: challenges and opportunities. In: ACM CHI conference on human factors in computing systems. Vancouver, Canada: No pagination, 7–12 May 2011Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bull R, Fleming P, Irvine K, Rieser M (2013) Are people the problem or the solution? A critical look at the rise of the smart/intelligent building and the role of ICT enabled engagement. ECEEE Summer Study (European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy). Toulon, FranceGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cesta A, Cortellessa G, Rasconi R, Pecora F, Scopelliti M, Tiberio L (2011) Monitoring elderly people with the robocare domestic environment: interaction synthesis and user evaluation. Comput Intell 27(1):60–82CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chae HH, Kim MJ (2011) Approaches to smart home with a focus on workspace in single household. Towards useful services for elderly and people with disabilities. In: Abdulrazak B, Giroux S, Bouchard B, Pigot H, Mokhtari M (eds) Proceedings of the 9th international conference on smart homes and health telematics (ICOST 2011), Montreal, Canada, June 2011. Springer, Berlin, pp 319–323Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chan M, Campo E, Esteve D, Fourniols J (2009) Smart homes—current features and future perspectives. Maturitas 64:90–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Chan M, Esteve D, Escriba C, Campo E (2008) A review of smart homes—present stat and future challenges. Comput Methods Programs Biomed 91:55–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Chetty M, Tran D, Grinter RE (2008) Getting to green: understanding resource consumption in the home. In: 10th international conference on ubiquitous computing (UbiComp 2008). Seoul, South Korea, pp 242–251Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Christensen TH, Ascarza A, Throndsen W, Gram-Hanssen K, Friis F (2013) The role of households in the smart grid: a comparative study. European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE) Summer Study 2013, Toulon/Hyères, France, 3rd–8th June 2013Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Cook DJ (2012) How smart is your home? Science 335(6076):1579–1581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Crabtree A, Rodden T (2004) Domestic routines and design for the home. Comput Support Coop Work 13:191–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Darby S (2006) The effectiveness of feedback on energy consumption: a review for DEFRA of the literature on metering, billing and direct displays, environmental change institute. University of Oxford, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Darby S (2010) Smart metering: what potential for householder engagement? Build Res Inf 38(5):442–457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Das SK, Cook DJ, Battacharya A, Heierman EO III, Lin T-Y (2002) The role of prediction algorithms in the MavHome smart home architecture. IEEE Wirel Commun 9:77–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Davidoff S, Lee MK, Yiu C, Zimmerman J, Dey AK (2006) Principles of smart home control. Lect Notes Comput Sci 4206:19–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Davis AL, Krishnamurti T, Fischhoff B, Bruine de Bruin W (2013) Setting a standard for electricity pilot studies. Energy Policy (pre-print available online: doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2013.07.093)
  27. 27.
    Demiris G, Hensel K, Skubic M, Rantz M (2008) Senior residents’ perceived need of and preferences for ‘smart home’ sensor technologies’. Int J Technol Assess Health Care 24(1):120–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Demiris G, Rantz MJ, Aud MA, Marek KD, Tyrer HW, Skubic M, Hussam AA (2004) Older adults’ attitudes towards and perceptions of ‘smart home’ technologies: a pilot study. Med Inform Internet Med 29(2):87–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Edwards WK, Grinter RE (2001) At home with ubiquitous computing: seven challenges. Lect Notes Comput Sci 2201:256–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Enright T, Faruqui A (2012) A bibliography on dynamic pricing of electricity. The Battle Group, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Firth SK, Fouchal F, Kane T, Dimitriou V, Hassan T (2013) Decision support systems for domestic retrofit provision using smart home data streams. In: Proceedings of CIB W78 2013: move towards Smart Buildings, Infrastructure and Cities, Beijing, ChinaGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Friedewald M, Da Costa O, Punie Y, Alahuhta P, Heinonen S (2005) Perspectives of ambient intelligence in the home environment. Telematics Inform 22:221–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Geelen D, Reinders A, Keyson D (2013) Empowering the end-user in smart grids: recommendations for the design of products and services. Energy Policy 61:151–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Giger JT, Markward M (2011) The need to know caregiver perspectives toward using smart home technology. J Soc Work Disabil Rehabil 10(2):96–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Gracanin D, McCrickard S, Billinglsey A, Cooper R, Gatling T, Irvin-Williams EJ, Osborne F, Doswell F (2011) Mobile interfaces for better living: supporting awareness in a smart home environment. Lect Notes Comput Sci 6767:163–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Haines V, Mitchell V, Cooper C, Maguire M (2007) Probing user values in the home environment within a technology driven smart home project. Pers Ubiquit Comput 11:349–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Hargreaves T, Nye M, Burgess J (2010) Making energy visible: a qualitative field study of how householders interact with feedback from smart energy monitors. Energy Policy 38:6111–6119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Hargreaves T, Nye M, Burgess J (2013) Keeping energy visible? How householders interact with feedback from smart energy monitors in the longer term. Energy Policy 52:126–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Hargreaves T, Wilson C (2013b) Who uses smart home technologies? Representations of users by the smart home industry. European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE) Summer Study 2013. Toulon/Hyères, France, 3rd–8th June 2013Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Heath P, Bell N (2006) The changing world of home technology: a Microsoft case study. Inf Soc 22(4):251–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Herczeg M (2010) The smart, the intelligent and the wise: rolse and values of interactive technologies. In: Proceedings of the first international conference on intelligent interactive technologies and multimedia, Allahabad, India, pp 17–26. 28–30 Dec 2010Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Herter K, McAuliffe P, Rosenfeld A (2007) An exploratory analysis of California residential customer response to critical peak pricing of electricity. Energy 32:25–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Hoof JV, Kort HSM, Rutten PGS, Duijnstee MSH (2011) Ageing-in-place with the use of ambient intelligence technology: perspectives of older users. Int J Med Informatics 80:310–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Howard S, Kjedskov J, Skov MB (2007) Pervasive computing in the domestic space. Pers Ubiquit Comput 11:329–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Hussain S, Erdogan SZ, Park JH (2009) Monitoring user activities in smart home environments. Inf Syst Front 11:539–549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    International Energy Agency (IEA) (2013) Energy efficiency market report. International Energy Agency (IEA), Paris, FranceGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Jeong K, Salvendy G, Proctor RW (2010) Smart home design and operation preferences of Americans and Koreans. Ergonomics 53(5):636–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Koomey JG, Scott Matthews H, Williams E (2013) Smart everything: will intelligent systems reduce resource use? Annu Rev Environ Resour 38(1):311–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Koskela T, Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila K (2005) Evolution towards smart home environments: empirical evaluation of three user interfaces. Pers Ubiquit Comput 8:234–240Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Lewis SCR (2012) Energy in the smart home. In: Harper R (ed) The connected home: the future of domestic life. Springer, London, pp 281–300Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Lin Y-J, Latcham HA, Lee M, Katar S (2002) A power line communication network infrastructure for the smart home. IEEE Wirel Commun 9:104–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Ma T, Kim Y-D, Ma Q, Tang M, Shou W (2005) Context-aware implementation based on CBR for smart home. In: International conference on e-technology, e-commerce and e-service (IEEE 2005). Hong Kong, March/April 2005, pp 112–115Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Martiskainen M, Coburn J (2011) The role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in household energy consumption—prospects for the UK. Energ Effi 4:209–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    McLean A (2011) Ethical frontiers of ICT and older users: cultural, pragmatic and ethical issues. Ethics Inf Technol 13:313–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Nyborg S, Røpke I (2013) Constructing users in the smart grid—insights from the Danish eFlex project. Energ Effi. doi:10.1007/s12053-013-9210-1 Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Orpwood R, Gibbs C, Adlam T, Faulkner R, Meegahawatte D (2005) The design of smart homes for people with dementia—user interface aspects. Univ Access Inf Soc 4:156–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Paetz A-G, Dutschke E, Fichtner W (2012) Smart homes as a means to sustainable energy consumption: a study of consumer perceptions. J Consum Policy 35:23–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Palensky P, Kupzog F (2013) Smart Grids. Annu Rev Environ Resour 38(1):201–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Park SH, Won SH, Lee JB, Kim SW (2003) Smart home—digitally engineered domestic life. Pers Ubiquit Comput 7:189–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Parkhill KA, Demski C, Butler C, Spence A, Pidgeon N (2013) Transforming the UK energy system: public values, attitudes and acceptability—synthesis report. London, UK, UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC)Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Perez F, Valderas P, Fons J (2011) Towards the involvement of end-users within model-driven development. Lect Notes Comput Sci 6654:258–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Pierce J, Schiano DJ, Paulos E (2010) Home, habits, and energy: examining domestic interactions and energy consumption. CHI 2010: Home Eco Behavior, Atlanta, Georgia. 10–15 April 2010Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Rashidi P, Cook DJ (2009) Keeping the resident in the loop: adapting the smart home to the user. Syst Man Cybern A Syst Hum IEEE Trans 39(5):949–959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Richardson HJ (2009) A ‘smart house’ is not a home: the domestication of ICTs. Inf Syst Front 11:599–608CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Rohracher H (2003) The role of users in the social shaping of environmental technologies. Innov Eur J Soc Sci Res 16(2):177–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Røpke I, Christensen TH, Jensen JO (2010) Information and communication technologies—a new round of household electrification. Energy Policy 38:1764–1773CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Saizmaa T, Kim HC (2008) Smart home design: home or house? In: Third international conference on convergence and hybrid information technology (ICCIT 2008) Busan, South Korea, Nov 2008, pp 143–148Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Schwartz-Cowan R (1983) More work for mother. The ironies of household technology from the open hearth to the microwave. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Silverstone R, Hirsch E, Morley D (1992) Information and communication technologies and the moral economy of the household. In: Silverstone R, Hirsch E (eds) Consuming technologies: media and information in domestic spaces. Routledge, London, pp 9–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Solaimani S, Bouwman H, Baken N (2011) The smart home landscape: a qualitative meta-analysis. Lect Notes Comput Sci 6719:192–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Strengers Y (2011) Negotiating everyday life: the role of energy and water consumption feedback. J Consum Cult 11(3):319–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Swan L, Taylor AS, Harper R (2008) Making place for clutter and other ideas of home. ACM Trans Comput Hum Interact 15(2):9:9–9:24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Taylor AS, Harper R, Swan L, Izadi S, Sellen A, Perry M (2007) Homes that make us smart. Pers Ubiquit Comput 11:383–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    van Dam SS, Bakker CA, van Hal JDM (2010) Home energy monitors: impact over the medium-term. Build Res Inf 38(5):458–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Venkatesh A, Kruse E, Shih CF (2003) The networked home: an analysis of current developments and future trends. Cogn Technol Work 5(1):23–32Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Wallenborn G, Orsini M, Vanhaverbeke J (2011) Household appropriation of electricity monitors. Int J Consum Stud 35:146–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Wong JKW, Li H, Wang SW (2005) Intelligent building research: a review. Autom Constr 14(1):143–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Wood G, Newborough M (2003) Dynamic energy-consumption indicators for domestic appliances: environment, behaviour and design. Energy Build 35:821–841CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlie Wilson
    • 1
  • Tom Hargreaves
    • 1
  • Richard Hauxwell-Baldwin
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

Personalised recommendations