Intelligent energy saving in the home: a user centred design perspective

2015-08-17T14:49:32Z (GMT) by Victoria Haines Val Mitchell
Intelligent homes have been a vision for decades, with the ‘Home of the Future’ promising an automated, sophisticated place to live, packed with technology that responds to our every need. With a new focus on energy saving, intelligent homes are again being heralded as the way to a low carbon future. However, history demonstrates that people may not find the proposed technology simple to use, with issues of control, compatibility, trust and accessibility making this a problematic approach. This chapter discusses the potential for intelligent energy saving in the home and explores the human factors that create pitfalls to the successful roll out of smart energy saving devices. The importance of understanding the user needs as a critical success factor and the role of user centred design in the development of intelligent products, services and systems is outlined. Whilst focused on the domestic sector, there are learnings relevant to all buildings where there are users.