Dylan D. Furszyfer Del Rio, Benjamin K. Sovacool and Steve Griffiths
Smart home technologies (SHT) refer to devices that provide some degree of digitally connected, automated, or enhanced services to household occupants. Smart homes have become prominent in recent technology and policy discussions about energy efficiency, climate change, and the sustainability of buildings. Nevertheless, how might culture shape the diffusion and use of the technologies used in smart homes? What cultural barriers may impede their adoption, or embed more carbon-intensive lifestyles? Lastly, do smart home technologies truly promote sustainability goals? Based on an extensive original dataset involving expert interviews in four countries—Japan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States—and original media content analysis, this study explores the cultural aspects of smart home technology adoption as well as the consequent impacts on sustainability. In doing so, the study elaborates on an array of social, technical, political, economic and environmental dimensions of smart home technology diffusion, with clear implications for research, policy, and technology development. In this sense, we call for more comprehensive, progressive, innovative and sensitive technology design so as to advance SHT adoption and fulfill some of the sustainability and climate objectives their advocates continually promise.
Furszyfer Del Rio, D.D., Sovacool, B.K. and Griffiths, S. 2021. Culture, energy and climate sustainability, and smart home technologies: A mixed methods comparison of four countries. Energy and Climate Change, 2: 100035. doi: 10.1016/j.egycc.2021.100035Opens in a new tab
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