Exploring technology influences between home, work, school: implications for managing ubiquitous technologies in the home

  • Geraldine Fitzpatrick
  • Mark Stringer
Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 241)


Understanding current issues and experiences with technologies in the home, and the relationships with work and school in how technologies are managed in the home, can be useful for anticipating issues with next generation technologies. This paper contributes to this understanding through in-home studies with ten UK households. Case data is presented that both reinforces current understandings about access to expertise in the workplace and school, and presents new understandings that further unpack the ways in which the technology in the home influenced by work and school. We also discuss the more subtle ways in which technologies get into the home, and how they are managed and maintained through people’s exposure to technologies, skills and expertise outside of the home. Given the increasing interest in ubiquitous technologies for the home, as played out in next generation home automation and home monitoring scenarios, we argue that such discussions are timely reminders, raising interesting questions about how these future technologies will come into the home and how people will gain the exposure and experience to help manage them.


Diffusion Path Ubiquitous Computing Smart Home Instant Messaging Home Life 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    D. Hindus, The Importance of Homes in Technology Research, Proceedings of CoBuild’ 99, (October 1999), pp 199–207.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    P. Tolmie, J. Pycock, T. Diggins, A. MacLean, and A. Karsenty, Ubiquity: Unremarkable computing. Proceedings of CHI 2002, (Minneapolis, ACM Press 2002), pp. 399–406.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    F. Aldrich, Smart Homes: Past, Present and Future in: Inside the Smart Home, edited by R. Harper (Springer-Verlag, London, 2003)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A. Crabtree, T. Hemmings and J Mariani, Informing the Design of Calendar Systems for Domestic Use, Proceedings of ECSCW’03, (Helsinki, Finland: Kluwer, 2003)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    R. E. Grinter, W. K. Edwards, M. Newman, and N. Ducheneaut, The work to make the home network work, Proceedings of ECSCW’05 (Paris, Springer-Verlag, 2005) pp. 97-119.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. O’Brien, T. Rodden, M. Rouncefield, and J. Hughes, At home with the technology: an ethnographic study of a set-top-box trial, ACM Trans on Computer Human Interactions 6(3), 282–308(1999).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    K. O’Hara, R. Harper, A. Unger, J. Wilkes, B. Sharpe and M. Jansen, TxtBoard: from text-to-person to text-to-home, CHI’ 05 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Portland, OR, ACM Press, 2005) pp. 1705–1708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    T. Downes, Blending play, practice and performance: children’s use of the computer at home, Journal of Educational Enquiry, 3(2), 21–34 (2002).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    A. Seilen, J. Hyams and R. Eardley, The everyday problems of working parents: Implications for new technologies, Hewlett-Packard Labs Technical Report HPL-2004-37. (March 13, 2007)
  10. 10.
    N. Selwyn, The Social Processes of Learning to Use Computers, Social Science Computer Review 23(1) 122–135(2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    A. Venkatesh, Computers and Other Interactive Technologies for the Home, Communications of the ACM, 39(12), 47–54 (1996).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    H. Molotch, Where Stuff Comes From: How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers and Many Other Things Come to Be as They Are, (Routledge, New York, 2003).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    A. Crabtree, T. Rodden, T. Hemmings and S. Benford, Finding a Place for UbiComp in the Home, Proceedings of Ubiquitous Computing, (Seattle, Springer, 2003) pp. 208–226.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    L. Swan and A. S. Taylor, Notes on Fridge Doors, CHI’ 05 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, (Portland, OR, ACM Press, 2003), pp. 1813–1816.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    A. S. Taylor and L. Swan, List making in the home, Proceedings of CSCW’ 04, (Chicago, IL, ACM Press, 2004), pp. 542–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    J. A. Rode, E.F. Toye and A. F. Blackwell The Domestic Economy: a Broader Unit of Analysis for End User Programming, CHI’ 05 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Portland, OR, ACM Press, 2005), (Portland, OR, ACM Press, 2005), pp 1757–1760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    J. D. Herbsleb, D. L. Atkins, D. G. Boyer, M. Handel, and T. A. Finholt, I Think, therefore IM: Introducing instant messaging and chat in the workplace, Proceedings of CHI 2002, (Minneapolis, ACM Press, 2002), pp 171–178.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    H, Hutchinson, W. Mackay, W. Westerlund, B. B. Bederson, A. Druin, C. Plaisant, M. Beaudouin-Lafon, S. Conversy, H. Evans, H. Hansen, N. Roussel, and B. Eiderbäck, Technology Probes: Inspiring Design for and with Families, Proceedings of CHI’ 03, (ACM Press, New York, NY, 2003), pp 17–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    W. Gaver, J. Bowers, A. Boucher, H. Gellerson, S. Pennington, A. Schmidt, A. Steed, N. Villars and B. Walker, The drift table: designing for ludic engagement, Proceedings of CHI’ 04 extended abstracts, (Vienna, Austria, ACM Press, 2004), pp 885–900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    A. Crabtree, T. Rodden, and S. Benford, Moving with the Times: IT Research and the Boundaries of CSCW, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 14, (2005) 217–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    S. Helal, W. Mann, H. El-Zabadani, J. King, Y. Kaddoura, and E. Jansen, The Gator Tech Smart House: A Programmable Pervasive Space, Computer, 38(3), 50–60 (2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    E. M. Tapia, S. Intille, and K. Larson, Activity Recognition in the Home Setting Using Simple and Ubiquitous Sensors, Proceedings of PERVASIVE 2004, Vol. LNCS 3001, (Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 2004), pp. 158–175.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    M. Mozer, The Neural network house: An environment that adapts to its inhabitants. In Intelligent Environments, Papers from the 1998 AAAI Spring Symposium, number Technical Report SS-98-92, (AAAI, AAAI Press, 1998) pp. 110–114.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    M. Stringer, G. Fitzpatrick, and E. Harris, Lessons for the Future: Experiences with the Installation and Use of Today’s Domestic Sensors and Technologies, Proceedings of Pervasive 2006, (Dublin, Springer-Verlag, 2006) pp. 383–399Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    C. Salazar, Building boundaries and negotiating work at home, Proceedings of GROUP 2001, (Boulder CO, ACM Press, 2001), pp 162–170.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    C. Nippert-Eng, Home and Work: Negotiating Boundaries through Everyday Life, (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    L. Baillie, and D. Benyon, Investigating ubiquitous computing in the home, Proceedings of 1st Equator Workshop on Ubiquitous Computing in Domestic Environments, (Nottingham UK, 2001); (accessed March 13th 2007).
  28. 28.
    A. Venkatesh, and N. Vitalari, Emerging distributed work arrangement: An investigation of computer supplemental work at home, Management Science, 38(12), 1687–1706 (1992).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    M. Mateas, T. Salvador, J. Scholtz, and D. Sorensen, Engineering Ethnography in the Home, Proceedings of CHI’96, (Vancouver, Canada, ACM Press, 1996), pp. 283–284.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    B. Glaser, and A. Strauss, The Discovery of Grounded Theory, (Aldine, Chicago, 1967).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    J. D. Herbsleb, D. L. Atkins, D. G. Boyer, M. Handel, and T. A. Finholt, Introducing Instant Messaging and Chat in the Workplace, Proceedings of CHI’02, (Minneapolis, USA, ACM Press, New York, NY, 2002) pp. 171–178.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    A. Woodruff, and S. Mainwaring, Everyday Practices in Great Rooms, Ubicomp 2005 Workshop: Situating Ubiquitous Computing in Everyday Life; Bridging the Social and Technical Divide; (accessed 13th March 2007).
  33. 33.
    R.E. Grinter, and M. Eldridge, y do tngrs luv 2 txt msg? Proceedings of ECSCW’01, (Bonn, Germany, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001), pp. 219–238.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    R. S. Cowan, More Work for Mother, (Free Association Books, London, 1989).Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    S. S. Intille, K. Larson, J. S. Beaudin, J. Nawyn, Munguia E. Tapia, and P. Kaushik, A Living Laboratory for the Design and Evaluation of Ubiquitous Computing Technologies, CHI’ 05 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, (New York, NY: ACM Press, 2005), pp 1941–1944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    T. Rodden, A. Crabtree, T. Hemmings, B. Koleva, J. Humble, K-P. Åkesson and P. Hansson, Between the Dazzle of a New Building and its Eventual Corpse: Assembling the Ubiquitous Home, Proceeding DIS2004, (Cambridge MA, ACM Press, 2004) pp. 71–80.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Y. Rogers, S. Price, C. Randell, et al. Ubi-Learning Integrates Indoor and Outdoor Experiences. Communications of the ACM, 48(1), 55–59 (2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    J. Halloran, E. Homecker, G. Fitzpatrick, M. Weal, D. Millard, D. Michaelides, D. Cruickshank, and D. De Roure. The literacy fieldtrip: using UbiComp to support children’s creative writing, Proceedings of Interaction Design for Children’ 06, (Tampere Finland, ACM Press, 2006), pp. 17–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geraldine Fitzpatrick
    • 1
  • Mark Stringer
    • 1
  1. 1.Interact Lab, Department of InformaticsUniversity of SussexUK

Personalised recommendations