Integration of sensors in the smart homes of tomorrow - possibilities and limitations

University essay from Lunds universitet/Produktutveckling

Abstract: It is estimated that in 2020 there will be more than 20 billion connected devices around the world. Hardware keeps getting smaller and microprocessors and communications modules can be found in all manner of products. On the software side, voice assistants are getting more intelligent by the day, with smart speakers being promoted as a natural part of people’s future homes. However, for these products to really become intelligent, they need to be aware of their surroundings. This is solved by implementing sensors. Bringing sensors inside people’s homes might seem trivial, but how do people react to bringing this kind of technology inside their homes? Why should they have it and what issues might exist in incorporating sensor technology in household items? By performing qualitative user studies comprised of interviews and observations, insights about how sensors should be implemented were gathered. Interviewees were also asked about some of their everyday problems and needs, which was used to provide examples of what household needs could be solved through sensor implementation. In combination with expert consultation and literature studies regarding technological limitations, this gave an understanding regarding how and why sensors will be a natural part in the smart home of tomorrow. Apart from examples of sensor implementation in product concepts, key findings regarding subjects such as personal privacy, big data handling and product life- cycles are presented and guidelines for how these issues can be handled are proposed. Keywords: Internet of Things, Smart Home, Sensors, Human-Machine-Interaction, Smart Devices, IKEA TRÅDFRI, IKEA Home Smart

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