Anticipating the adoption of IoT in everyday life

Coulton, Paul and Gradinar, Adrian and Lindley, Joseph (2021) Anticipating the adoption of IoT in everyday life. In: Privacy by Design for the Internet of Things : Building accountability and security. IET Press, London. ISBN 9781839531392

[thumbnail of Anticipating the adoption of IoT in everyday life]
Text (Anticipating the adoption of IoT in everyday life)
Anticipating_the_adoption_of_IoT_in_everyday_life_.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (19MB)


Realising the potential economic and societal benefits of emerging and future technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) is dependent on a critical mass of potential users adopting them, this is often driven by whether users consider them to be acceptable. However, the processes that drive adoption and acceptability are rarely taken into consideration when researching emerging and future technologies. More often than not, either adoption is regarded as something that will naturally occur once technology is made available to the market, or the process of adoption is considered to be someone else’s future work. The result is that the discovery of challenges and barriers to adoption and acceptability occur only after potentially problematic design patterns have become established and concretised at the core of devices and services. This, in turn, can result in even the most mundane designs having unintended consequences or compromised impact. In this chapter we focus on IoT connected products which are often referred to as ‘smart’ in our IoT-enabled ‘smart homes’. The espoused promise of the smart home is that it will make our lives easier by giving us more free time, improving our energy consumption, and saving money. However, one factor which is frequently absent from these discussions is the tsunami of data which is generated and collected as we add millions of IoT products and services to our home networks. While the nuance of the emergent Human-Data relationships may not be of immediate concern to the majority of their users, when this significant activity is unexpectedly brought to the fore it can challenge our expectations and perceptions of personal privacy in our homes. Such disruptions to notions of privacy then unbalance our perception of IoT devices’ acceptability, causing users to either resist the adoption of new devices or potentially reject devices which had previously been adopted. Addressing this challenge requires new approaches to design for future IoT products and services. The underlying Human-Data relationships need to become legible. Moreover, new ways of allowing potential users to experience such futures before problematic aspects are introduced are equally important. This brings future adoption and acceptability concerns to the centre of current design challenges. To this end, in this chapter, we present several examples of projects which utilised the Design Research method of Design Fiction, to explore these challenges. This research is based on work conducted within the PETRAS Cybersecurity of the Internet of Things Research Hub to explore critical issues in privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security and the Objects of Immersion research project, The Living Room of the Future.

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
?? design futuresdesign fictionspeculative designinternet of things (iot)acceptabilityadoption ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
17 Jun 2021 09:14
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 05:03