HomeCare: User Perspectives on In-Home Technology Care and Maintenance

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Increased computing capabilities in the home could suggest a stronger need for external support of technologies at home. Accordingly, product and service designers require stronger understandings of how users setup, maintain, and repair their technologies at home in order to design appropriate devices and capabilities. The practices around domestic computing often vary dramatically from those in offices. Based on a three-country ethnographic research investigation, this paper considers factors that influence technology support needs in the home (focused on PCs in particular but also Consumer Electronics) and the impact of cultural, social, economic, and experiential factors meeting these needs. At the same time, this study will begin to assess how PC-centric technologies are both supporting and shaping existing social rules, values, and interactions in the home.


Keywords: User-Centered, Ethnography, Anthropology, Domestic Technology, Digital Home Services, Support
Stream: Human Technologies and Usability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Todd S. Harple

Anthropologist / Researcher, Domestic Designs & Technologies Research
User Experience: Digital Home Group, Intel Corporation

Beaverton, OR, USA

Todd Harple is an researcher in Intel's Digital Home Group. Part of a team of design & anthropological researchers, his work focuses on understanding daily life in homes all over the world, and using that knowledge to influence Intel’s platform directions, product offerings, investment decisions and strategic planning. Prior to joining Intel, Todd was an independent consultant with work experience in the financial services, automotive and natural resource industries as well as in museums, community development and teaching. His work has taken place in North America, the Asia-Pacific and Europe. Todd Harple holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University. His doctoral work included over two years of field research on the southwest coast of New Guinea combined with extensive archival work in The Netherlands and Great Britain.

Ref: T08P0324