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As Smart Home Tech Becomes Ubiquitous, Is It Still Considered Smart?

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As Smart Home Tech Becomes Ubiquitous, Is It Still Considered Smart?


September 21, 2020
Woman using smart home touch screen on wall
Photo: goodluz

Should home technologies still be considered “smart” when it's becoming more commonplace? The term “smart home technology” stems from the idea of a smartphone, as this was the basis for consumer’s knowledge about innovative, interactive technology, according to Forbes. By removing the word “smart,” it allows for greater creativity from consumers, says Forbes. One example of this is when consumers were asked to eliminate the term “smart” and think about ways in which appliances could perform differently, they came up with better ideas, such as a washing machine that decodes a shirt’s label and sets itself to the appropriate washing cycle. Smart innovations should be human-focused, not product-focused, argues Forbes.

So, does that mean we’ve been getting smart home technology wrong? The experts I spoke to definitely think it needs to be reimagined. Especially since we’re at a tipping point when smart home technology is becoming ubiquitous. Nearly every home in design or construction today will have elements of technology that are integrated into every aspect of the resident’s experience.

In order to rethink the smart appliance, Wadsworth approached the closed minded mentality of smart home from a new perspective. He stripped away what he calls the bounded rationality mindset of the term smart home. He did that by asking consumers to imagine how a home or a home appliance could be more helpful, eliminating the term smart. Just changing the term opened up imagination and creativity for much more interesting responses, driving to better use cases for appliances.

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