Bonner, John V.H., Li, Andol X and Robinson, Jo (2009) Designing and evaluating smart domestic technologies which use infrequent interaction. In: The 7th International Conference on Pervasive Computing, 11-14 May 2009, Nara, Japan. (Unpublished)

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

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