Article | Proceedings of the Sustaining Everyday Life Conference: April 22–24 2009; Campus Norrköping; Sweden | Helping; Informing or Coaxing the Consumer?: Exploring Persuasive Technology as Applied to Households´ Energy Use

Title:
Helping; Informing or Coaxing the Consumer?: Exploring Persuasive Technology as Applied to Households´ Energy Use
Author:
Örjan Svane: Environmental Strategies Research - fms, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
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Year:
2009
Conference:
Proceedings of the Sustaining Everyday Life Conference: April 22–24 2009; Campus Norrköping; Sweden
Issue:
038
Article no.:
013
Pages:
83-84
No. of pages:
2
Publication type:
Abstract
Published:
2010-11-05
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet


Let us assume; that people could be persuaded to reduce their energy use in the home through a “dialogue” with a computer. What information; what means of persuasion could the dialogue consist of? Which is the technical hardware? Who persuades; and what about personal integrity? In this paper we explore the merging of two computer-based technologies – “smart homes” and “persuasive technology”.

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 computers’ 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 society’s whole and the potentials for reduction through changes in the consumers’ habits are large. Often; dwellings’ 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 “smart homes” technology could be developed to include computerized persuasion.

Based on a “Master’s Class” 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 don’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 – in terms of environmental impacts; comfort; health; technology and consumer ethics.

Paper published in: Svane Ö. (2009) Helping; Informing or Coaxing the Consumer? – Exploring Persuasive Technology as Applied to Households’ Energy Use; Varma A 2008: Domotics: Smart Technology; Smarter Homes; ICFAI.

Proceedings of the Sustaining Everyday Life Conference: April 22–24 2009; Campus Norrköping; Sweden

Author:
Örjan Svane
Title:
Helping; Informing or Coaxing the Consumer?: Exploring Persuasive Technology as Applied to Households´ Energy Use
References:
Svane Ö. (2009) Helping; Informing or Coaxing the Consumer? – Exploring Persuasive Technology as Applied to Households’ Energy Use; Varma A 2008: Domotics: Smart Technology; Smarter Homes; ICFAI.

Proceedings of the Sustaining Everyday Life Conference: April 22–24 2009; Campus Norrköping; Sweden

Author:
Örjan Svane
Title:
Helping; Informing or Coaxing the Consumer?: Exploring Persuasive Technology as Applied to Households´ Energy Use
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