There are computer programmes that persuade children to brush their teeth; and others that support regular physical exercise: Persuasive technology combines the persuasive powers of TV advertising with the computersâ€™ interactive information handling. Smart homes technology provides residents with information and control; to keep a good indoor climate and a small energy bill. However; the merging of these two concepts has not been explored. Energy use in housing is a considerable part of societyâ€™s whole and the potentials for reduction through changes in the consumersâ€™ habits are large. Often; dwellingsâ€™ indoor climate could become better through simple measures. There might be a conflict between low energy use and good indoor climate; but on the whole; better control can achieve both. Therefore it is worthwhile to explore how â€śsmart homesâ€ť technology could be developed to include computerized persuasion.
Based on a â€śMasterâ€™s Classâ€ť at TU Eindhoven and a literature review; we discuss:
- How can households be persuaded to reduce their energy use through interaction with a computer?
- Which are the technical prerequisites?
- How much could be saved?
- What forms could the persuasive dialogue take?
- What differences in control and persuasion follow from the form of tenure?
- Which are the ethical restrictions?
We donâ€™t assume that this kind of persuasion is by necessity a good thing. Instead; we explore the issue to enable discussion on its merits and shortcomings â€“ in terms of environmental impacts; comfort; health; technology and consumer ethics.
Paper published in: Svane Ă–. (2009) Helping; Informing or Coaxing the Consumer? â€“ Exploring Persuasive Technology as Applied to Householdsâ€™ Energy Use; Varma A 2008: Domotics: Smart Technology; Smarter Homes; ICFAI.