Dramatic Things: Investigating value conflicts in the smart home
Oct 2021 - ongoing
Imagine you live in a smart home and it is hot outside. The smart thermostat requests the smart curtains to close so that the room temperature would stay stable and less energy will be consumed. The smart TV concurs as closed curtains would provide better contrast, thus a more pleasant experience for the user. However, the smart pots and the smart security camera request the curtain to stay open. The former wants sunlight to ensure the plants’ wellbeing and the latter wants the outsiders to see that there is someone at home, thus improve the home’s security. So, who wins? In the very near future, the digital space created in smart homes through the dynamic interconnectedness of smart products is likely to enact value conflicts and unforeseen forms of interaction. Therefore, it is crucial to investigate how products could communicate and negotiate conflicting values when thinking about the future of domesticity.
the dynamic interconnectedness of smart products is likely to enact value conflicts and unforeseen forms of interaction
This exploratory research aims to
- envision different scenarios in which products with different values (e.g., sustainability, comfort, wellbeing, security) display different negotiation and conflict management behaviors (e.g., avoiding, competition, collaboration, accommodation, compromise)
- investigate how people experience these situations. Our ultimate objective is to (re)imagine not only the means for resolving specific value conflicts, but also the overall texture of the digital “niche” (to borrow from ecological psychology) created within our homes.