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Designing Smart Home Technology For Passive Co-Presence Over Distance

When families are separated over distance, the subtle, passive aspects of family life are hard to experience. Through a research-through-design methodology, we explored the design of smart home technologies for passive co-presence over distance. We arrived at an interaction space which we describe as a framework to guide future design. We created the dimensions of this framework based on characteristics of the passive co-presence technology that emerged from our design explorations. Our research-through-design process additionally resulted in the design of two smart home systems. The Co-presence Couch employs the senses of touch, sight, and sound to display when a remote family member is sitting on the couch. ReminiScents is a set of three devices located throughout the home that diffuse smells that are reminiscent of the remote family members or the remote home. We reflect on our design decisions and propose considerations for future design.

For more info:

(in submission) Shakeri, H., Neustaedter, C., Garg, R., Geiskkovitch, D. (2023) "Designing Smart Home Technology For Passive Co-Presence Over Distance" Proceedings of the ACM Computer Human Interaction (CHI). New York, NY, USA, ACM Press.

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