Protection, productivity and pleasure in the smart home emerging expectations and gendered insights from Australian early adopters

Yolande Strengers, Jenny Kennedy, Paula Arcari, Larissa Nicholls, Melissa Gregg

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

15 Citations (Scopus)


Interest and uptake of smart home technologies has been lower than anticipated, particularly among women. Reporting on an academic-industry partnership, we present findings from an ethnographic study with 31 Australian smart home early adopters. The paper analyses these households’ experiences in relation to three concepts central to Intel’s ambient computing vision for the home: protection, productivity and pleasure, or ‘the 3Ps’. We find that protection is a form of caregiving; productivity provides ‘small conveniences’, energy savings and multitasking possibilities; and pleasure is derived from ambient and aesthetic features, and the joy of ‘playing around’ with tech. Our analysis identifies three design challenges and opportunities for the smart home: internal threats to household protection; feminine desires for the smart home; and increased ‘digital housekeeping’. We conclude by suggesting how HCI designers can and should respond to these gendered challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
EditorsAnna Cox, Vassilis Kostakos
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359702
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 May 20199 May 2019
Conference number: 37th (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2019
Abbreviated titleCHI 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Ethnography
  • Gender/Identity
  • Home
  • Smart environments/Connected home

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