The social life of smart homes 
Murray Goulden (University of Nottingham)
Stuart Reeves (University of Nottingham)
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Encounters between people, things and environments
Faraday Lecture Theatre (Faraday Complex)
Start time:
28 July, 2018 at 9:30 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

In this session we explore the attempted domestication of Internet of Things technologies, and the interactional implications for members, materials, and the multinationals for whom the smart home offers a new platform to claim.

Long Abstract:

In this session we explore the attempted domestication of Internet of Things technologies, and what this means for the doing of home life. The shared home presents a dynamic, hierarchical, variegated space, to which the smart home project responds with a shift from designedly 'personal' devices to designedly shared 'ecosystems' that build in ever more complex interactions with organisations and data. The insertion of ubiquitous data collection, processing, and actuation within such intimate and socially complex spaces represents a profound shift and in doing so creates a series of tensions requiring exploration: between lifeworlds outside and inside the home; between black-boxed algorithms and human occupants; between agency and automation; and between the accountabilities of implicated organisations and the household members themselves. At the same time the smart home offers a focal point for investigations into the materiality of new interaction modalities (e.g., voice) and their form (e.g., 'implicit' or 'unwitting' interactions, 'aggregated' or 'collective' interactions). Finally, the smart home implicates novel design perspectives based in unfamiliar 'materials' (e.g., data, AI techniques).

We call for papers that address the social life of smart homes in different ways, which might include:

1. Visions of the smart home, and the language of 'smart'.

2. Smart home technologies and the reshaping of practices and roles in the home.

3. Material interactions with and repurposings of smart technology.

4. Lateral surveillance, sousveillance, privacy and trust.

5. Digital economy, data, control and the smart home.

6. Metrics and quantification of shared domestic life.

Accepted papers: