Interest and uptake of smart home technologies has been lower than anticipated, particularly among women. Reporting on an academic-industry partnership, we present findings from an ethnographic study with 31 Australian smart home early adopters. The paper analyses these households’ experiences in relation to three concepts central to Intel’s ambient computing vision for the home: protection, productivity and pleasure, or ‘the 3Ps’. We find that protection is a form of caregiving; productivity provides ‘small conveniences’, energy savings and multitasking possibilities; and pleasure is derived from ambient and aesthetic features, and the joy of ‘playing around’ with tech. Our analysis identifies three design challenges and opportunities for the smart home: internal threats to household protection; feminine desires for the smart home; and increased ‘digital housekeeping’. We conclude by suggesting how HCI designers can and should respond to these gendered challenges.
Strengers, Y., Kennedy, J., Arcari, P., Nicholls, L., & Gregg, M. (2019). Protection, productivity and pleasure in the smart home emerging expectations and gendered insights from Australian early adopters. In Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings. Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3290605.3300875