Networked home usage

Riad pointed me on this paper: The Work to Make a Home Network Work by Rebecca E. Grinter, W. Keith Edwards, Mark W. Newman and Nicolas Ducheneaut at ECSCW 2005.

Recently, households have begun to adopt networking technologies to interconnect devices within the home. Yet little is known about the consequences for households of setting up and living with these complex networks, nor the impact of such technologies on the routines of the home. In this paper, we report findings from an empirical study of households containing complex networks of computer and audio/visual technologies. Our study finds that home networks require significant household effort not just to coordinate their use, but also their set up and maintenance. We also show how the coordination around networking has to be worked into the routines of the home and the householders.

Why do I blog this? I am not into 'house-of-the-future" research but it's intricately related to my projects about how people use location-awareness in the sense that automating too much processes thanks to technology (with location information in CatchBob or with home networked) might be detrimental for users. I believe that this is an important trend that shoudl be taken into account by designers (with user/activity-centered research).