Smart home: Devices, applications and their potential benefits and challenges

2019-11-04T14:29:55Z (GMT) by Foziah Gazzawe Russell Lock
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019. This study surveys a range of devices and applications based on information and computer technologies to automate their control houses and related activities which together form and are called Smart Home systems. The aim of this research is to explore examples of such devices and applications used to provide smart home technologies and their benefits and challenges to users. Interviews were administered to 18 users of Smart Home technologies. The participants were selected randomly by purposive sampling on the basis of having and using a smart home technology, and with the goal of ascertaining which type of the technologies are being used, their modus operandi, and their benefits and any implementation issues. This was complemented by exploring the systems through watching and observing online videos of people using them. The findings reveal a varied number of Smart Home systems being used for automating household operations. The primary reasons for using them are their efficiency and simplicity of operation in spite of being challenged by their high costs. In relative order, the greatest perceived benefits of a smart home system for the participants were convenience, energy savings, the security it can provide, and simplicity of control. The greatest challenges were cost, design aspects, technical challenges and lacking in meeting special user needs.