Trust in the smart home: Findings from a nationally representative survey in the UK

Sara Cannizzaro, Rob Procter, Sinong Ma, Carsten Maple

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Abstract

Businesses in the smart home sector are actively promoting the benefits of smart home technologies for consumers, such as convenience, economy and home security. To better understand meanings of and trust in the smart home, we carried out a nationally representative survey of UK consumers designed to measure adoption and acceptability, focusing on awareness, ownership, experience, trust, satisfaction and intention to use. We analysed the results using theories of meanings and acceptability of technologies including semiotics, social construction of technology (SCOT) and sociotechnical affordance. Our findings suggest that the meaning and value proposition of the smart home have not yet achieved closure for consumers, but is already foregrounding risks to privacy and security amongst the other meaning-making possibilities it could afford. Anxiety about the likelihood of a security incident emerges as a prominent factor influencing adoption of smart home technology. This factor negatively impacts adoption. These findings underline how businesses and policymakers will need to work together to act on the sociotechnical affordances of smart home technology in order to increase consumers’ trust. This intervention is necessary if barriers to adoption and acceptability of the smart home are to be addressed now and in the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020

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