Smart Home Technologies

Smart home technologies provide a platform for support and change

Smart home technologies are increasingly becoming a part of Australian homes, with smartphones acting as a key gateway technology. Smart home technologies are those technologies that offer consumers new and value-added ways to connect to their own homes, often remotely or in novel ways. For instance, virtual assistants like Siri and HeyGoogle are familiar technologies on smartphones, but these voices have now entered the home as well and are often integrated with smart technologies like coffee makers, air conditioners, security systems, or lighting. This means consumers can now say “Good morning” to their virtual assistant and find the lights on, the coffee brewed, and the air-conditioner set to a favourite temperature.

While research in this area is nascent, the potential of these technologies is clear from watching their development in other nations like the USA. Because technologies like these can automate routine tasks based on consumer preferences, they present a powerful tool for positive change. For instance, in the future a virtual assistant might monitor temperature and electricity prices in order to adjust the air conditioner on behalf of consumers, saving money and reducing the chance of black-outs on high demand days. Smart home technologies can keep an eye on everything in the home, making sure lights and televisions aren’t left on unnecessarily or even that you really did turn off the iron before leaving for work.

Types of smart home technologies include:

  • Virtual assistants like Siri or HeyGoogle, and interfaces like HomeKit
  • Lighting systems
  • Thermostats or air-conditioners/heaters
  • Door and window locks
  • Security systems
  • Weather and air quality systems
  • Smart appliances
  • WiFi enabled power point adapters (for making any device ‘connected’).

 

Additional Resources:

  • Allouch, B.S., van Dijk, J.A.G.M. and Peters, O. (2009), “The Acceptance of Domestic Ambient Intelligence Appliances by Prospective Users”, International Conference on Pervasive Computing, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, Heidelberg, pp. 77–94.
  • Schiffhauer, B., Bernotat, J., Eyssel, F., Bröhl, R. and Adriaans, J. (2016), “Let the User Decide! User Preferences Regarding Functions, Apps, and Interfaces of a Smart Home and a Service Robot”, Springer, Cham, pp. 971–981.
  • Infographic: What Americans Want from a ‘Smart’ Home

 

Relevant Projects:

Household Segments for Tariff Reform

Energy Consumers Australia Limited

 

What’s Your Relationship With Technology

 

What’s your relationship with technology?