What Smart Home Users Think About Sharing Of Smart Home Devices

Categories: Digital Era


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Please do not change or modify the size of this text box. Each submission will be assigned a DOI string to be included here. Smart devices are increasingly being used in homes. Technology makes it possible for these devices to be shared over the Internet. To formulate design-specific recommendations for designing and developing a system allowing smart home users to share their smart home devices with people outside their home, we design and conduct a study to gain insights into what smart home users think about sharing their smart home devices with people outside their home and why; specifically with whom, if at all, the users would like to share which particular devices.

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We also study their motivation and the factors which affect their decision.


A “smart” device is a device that is computer networked, user reconfigurable and that can operate autonomously to some extent. Internet connected smart devices have led to phenomenon called Internet of Things (IoT). Internet penetration into homes is at all-time high.

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In 2016, 81 percent of US households had a broadband Internet subscription. With more homes getting connected to the Internet, “smart” devices are also becoming increasingly popular in households. Number of devices connected to the internet have already surpassed number of humans in the world and IoT devices are following suit. 20 percent of US Wi-Fi households have a smart speaker in 2018. This demonstrates the rapid adoption of smart speakers which are fairly new in the market with the two primary market share holders Amazon and Google first releasing their smart speakers in July 2015 and November 2016 respectively [6,9,10]. Cisco projects that nearly three-quarters of devices connected to the internet will be smart devices by 2021.

Smart devices in household are being employed for applications ranging from home security, automation and control to entertainment, energy management and comfort. With the ability of accessing smart home devices remotely from the Internet comes the ability of sharing this access with others. Smart devices often generate information that may be useful for people other than device’s owner. Since smart home devices are connected to the Internet, it is possible to access the device and its’ data from anywhere in the world. This very design gives smart devices the implicit property of possibly being shared over the Internet with anybody. Evolution of the web 2. 0 [4], have shown that when people have access to the necessary tools to create, collaborate and share contents, they get actively involved in the community building without expecting much in return (online forums, wikis etc. ).

While the technology to facilitate sharing of smart home devices is already becoming readily available in the smart home market, little is known about how users feel about sharing their smart home devices with people who outside of their homes. With the aim of identifying possible design improvements for the existing state of smart home device sharing technology, we set out to understand the users’ needs and perceptions surrounding this topic. We posed the following high-level research questions:

  • RQ1: Are smart home users willing to share access to their smart home devices with people outside their home?
  • RQ2: Which smart home devices are users willing to share and for what purpose?
  • RQ3: With whom are smart home users willing to share access to their smart devices and what factors affect their decision?
  • RQ4: What inhibitions, if any, do users have against sharing of their smart devices and how can they be possibly mitigated?

To address these questions, we will conduct a survey of 100 smart home users. Our goal is to understand the types of groups that could potentially utilize community oversight, such as whether they are closed groups (e. g. , neighborhoods) or more similar to a social network (e. g. , friends and family), and properties of the relationships between group or network members. The survey will be conducted online and will require that the participants own at least one device smart home device other than smart speakers. We will analyze what is important to people when sharing access their smart home devices.

Through this research, we aim to make the following unique contributions:

  • Develop a better understanding of various aspects of sharing of smart home devices from an end-user’s perspective.
  • Highlight values that influence a person’s preferences regarding sharing of smart home devices.
  • Provide design-specific recommendation to facilitate further research and development of technology enabling productive sharing of smart home devices among within community.

Background section will contain relevant literature review.

Sharing is Caring – Community In this sub-section, we will explore the existing research related to community oversight, collective efficacy and co-management of privacy and security as it relates to increased productivity, emotional support, protection of privacy, security and overall well-being of members of a community. We will discuss what is known about the perceptions of people towards such sharing information with a community both with and without the use of technology. We will also review existing data and research on how people tend to manage their privacy when they share information or access with other people. We will relate these findings to Internet-of-Things and decipher how the community oversight can be applied to smart home devices.

Status Quo

In this sub-section, we will review papers related to sharing of IoT and other connected devices and existing implementations of such technology. We will study what common devices are users sharing and any trends or statistics that may be available. Ring security devices, Wyze camera, Ecobee thermostat and likes allow users to share access to the devices. We will study how this sharing is designed.


In this section, we describe our study design. Then, we discuss the operationalization of constructs, data analysis and recruitment of participants. Study DesignWe will conduct a formative evaluation [1] of users’ needs to understand their current and potential patterns of sharing of data generated by their smart home devices and access to devices themselves. The user study will consist of an online survey where each participant will be a smart home device user. We will require the participants to have everyday access to at least one smart home device at their place of residence, not counting smart speakers. We exclude smart-speaker-only homes to get better quality data from users who have more experience in the smart home ecosystem. We will use web-based survey platform called Qualtrics [12] to conduct the surveys. The survey questions will be designed to explore the existing topography of users’ social infrastructure that supports their digital and physical privacy and security practices on a large scale. Each participant will be paid $10 for their time and effort.

Participants Recruitment and Data Analysis Approach

Participants will be recruited through incentivized survey tools like Amazon Mechanical Turk or another better tool later identified as the project progresses. We will also use campus wide broadcasts emails at University of Central Florida to recruit participants. We will conduct both quantitative and qualitative analysis of our data to empirically and theoretically gain insights into a user’s perception and preferences related to sharing of smart home devices with people outside of their home. This information along with the trends we identify from the users’ responses will be used for framing our design-specific recommendation for smart home sharing system.

Updated: Feb 15, 2024
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What Smart Home Users Think About Sharing Of Smart Home Devices. (2024, Feb 15). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/what-smart-home-users-think-about-sharing-of-smart-home-devices-essay

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