“Isn't this Marvelous”: supporting older adults’ wellbeing with smart home devices through curiosity, play and experimentation

Yolande Strengers, Melisa Duque Hurtado, Michael Mortimer, Sarah Pink, Rex Martin, Larissa Nicholls, Ben Horan, Alicia Eugene, Sue Thomson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


HCI research involving older adults has typically focused on improving technology skills, mobility and health outcomes. Technology for positive ageing emphasizing creativity, inquisitiveness and resourcefulness is less commonly explored. This article builds on this research to contribute an understanding of the importance of curiosity, play and experimentation in supporting positive wellbeing outcomes for older adults living with smart home devices. The research was conducted in regional Australia by an aged care provider and two universities. Twenty-three households participated in the interdisciplinary in-home ethnographic and technological smart device trial that included voice assistants, robotic vacuums, smart kettles and smart lights. The article discusses routines and interactions involving these devices, which resulted in wellbeing outcomes that built participants' digital living skills. These findings inform concluding recommendations about how to design smart home devices, aged care programs and services involving emerging technologies, to support positive ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDIS 22, Proceedings of the 2022 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference
EditorsRohit Ashok Khot, Penny Sweetser, Marianna Obrist
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781450393584
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventDesigning Interactive Systems 2022 - Online, Australia
Duration: 13 Jun 202217 Jun 2022
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3532106 (Proceedings)
https://dis.acm.org/2022/ (Website)


ConferenceDesigning Interactive Systems 2022
Abbreviated titleDIS 2022
Internet address


  • ageing in place
  • digital living skills
  • positive ageing
  • smart home

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