A Meaningful Smart Home is a technologically supported living space that, through the satisfaction of occupants' needs, follows the purpose of improving human health and well-being, while decreasing its' environmental footprint.
Why a Meaningful Smart Home?
This is the right question to start with, to raise your awareness on the benefits of creating or transforming your home into a Meaningful Smart Home.
To give you an idea on the influence that our homes have on our well-being and personal growth, we want you to consider some figures: we spend on average 90% of our time indoors1, of which 70% at home (in high-income countries) 2. In places where the unemployment rate is higher and where people is employed by local industries, this percentage can be even higher3.
Why to start from your needs?
Once you have understood the impact that our homes can have on our daily lives, on our health and the environment, you might be interested in knowing about the ways to create or transform your house into a Meaningful Smart Home.
The critical thing here is to understand the paradigm between technology and needs. We are mostly used to buy something because of external stimulus, sometimes disconnected from our inner needs. Human needs, complicated as they are, require the interaction of a set of elements to provide its' satisfaction; therefore, it is tough to satisfy them with the purchase of a single product.
By staying focused on your needs, you will be acting with intention, saving money and, more importantly, improving your health and well-being.
How to intervene on your needs?
As seen in the previous section, being aware of your needs will put you in a privileged position. You will start being selective about the tools you use, and this will save you money, but primarily, it will increase your satisfaction.
However, you are still not prepared to buy the right products. You have done an important step, but the one that makes the difference comes now.
You need to identify the factors that influence the satisfaction of your needs; we call them the determinants of well-being.
Let's support the explanation with an example: imagine that you want to improve your sleep, this is your need. At this point, which product would you buy? It depends, right? But it depends on what? It depends, precisely, on the determinant of well-being that you want to improve. These are several, ranging from your behaviour to the physical environment in which you live. So, if we recall the sleep example, we could intervene on the humidity, on the temperature, on the nutritional habits and much more.
Knowing on which determinant of well-being to intervene will guide you to a meaningful product adoption.
Which product should I adopt?
Once you have identified the determinant of well-being that you want to improve, it is time to benchmark the different market available solutions.
As you can imagine, technology with its' different applications is one of the critical enablers of a Meaningful Smart Home. The smart home hardware is composed of devices and components (sensors, batteries, thermostats, etc.). These autonomously learn from the use we make of them, talk to each other through diverse connectivity technologies (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, etc.) and can be activated through existing software (voice recognition, apps, etc.) or even without any human intervention (environmental conditions).
Meaningful product adoption will lead you to a shortlist of solutions from which you can select the ones that better meet your budget and home use.
Which is your role?
As we have seen, technology is a major key enabler of a Meaningful Smart Home. However, if you want your home to be really meaningful, you need to be the other key enabler.
Each one of us plays a crucial role on the development of a better world; every action that we do has an impact on our lives, on the lives of people around us and on the environment.
So, arming your home with smart devices that you do not use or need is not contributing to make of this world a better place to live. As well, using technology like for example smart thermostats will not make any positive impact if you, consciously or unconsciously, counteract by leaving windows open more time than required to reach a proper air quality.
We encourage you to take action, lead a meaningful technology adoption and practice meaningful habits.
How Smart Home Need supports you?
We want to help you to improve your health and well-being and at the same time, decrease your environmental footprint. And we want to do it following a meaningful, conscious and holistic approach that saves you time and make you grow.
Our series of Grundlagen are thought to support you on:
- Acquiring a general understanding of the positive impacts that a Meaningful Smart Home has on your daily life, on your health and the environment.
- Finding out the importance of staying focused on your needs to reach individual freedom, leaving aside external stimulus and perceived benefits of the single-product adoption.
- Discerning the key factors that influence the satisfaction of your needs, namely the determinants of well-being.
- Answering the main questions related to the initial adoption of the smart home.
Our Needs Guide instead will support you on:
- Identifying your needs.
- Understanding how the satisfaction of each specific need impacts on your daily life.
- Recognising the determinants of well-being for each specific need.
- Figuring out the indications that experts advise to follow to intervene on each determinant of well-being.
- Benchmarking the most relevant products to intervene on the determinants of well-being, headlining the product characteristics that we retain essential for your decision-making process.
Smart Home Need does all this by focusing on relevant content and staying simple. We want to feed you with useful proposals and information that enable systemic and meaningful technology adoption.
1 Klepeis N., Nelson W., Ott W. et al. 2001. "The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS). A Resource for Assessing Exposure to Environmental Pollutants". Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. <https://indoor.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-47713.pdf>.
2 Baker M., Keall M., Au EL, Howden-Chapman P. 2007. "Home is where the heart is - most of the time". New Zealand Medical Journal, vol. 120, nº. 1264.
3 International Labour Organization. World Employment and Social Outlook, Trends 2016. Document and Publications Production, Printing and Distribution Branch of the ILO. 2016. <http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/@publ/documents/publication/wcms_443480.pdf>.