Control of Smart Home Technologies

  • Tom HargreavesEmail author
  • Charlie Wilson
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


In this chapter we focus on a specific theme that is central to research on SHTs: control. The potential benefits of SHTs are dependent on householders having more and finer-grained control over their appliances, homes and even their everyday lives and routines. Diving deeper into the qualitative interview material introduced in Chap.  5, we interrogate the many positive and negative ways in which control surfaces as an issue when householders use SHTs. We start by reviewing existing ideas of control in research on SHTs. We identify three distinct meanings of the term control: (i) ‘artefactual’ control which refers to the ability to use SHTs to control technologies and devices around the home; (ii) ‘perceptual’ control which refers to how SHTs impact upon householders’ feelings of control inside their home; and (iii) ‘relational’ control which refers to how SHTs affect householders’ control over their everyday lives, activities and relationships. We then explore how these distinct forms and meanings of control emerged and were experienced by householders in the SHT field trial. We also examine the inter-relationships between these distinct forms of control which can generate both positive and negative feedback loops impacting how householders use SHTs.


Smart Home Artifact Control Control Paradox Socio-technical View Perceptual Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Science, Society and Sustainability Research Group (3S), School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  2. 2.Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

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