SPHERE Seminar: Making sense of the household
Dr Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir, CRESS Research Fellow and Dr Jie Jiang, University of Surrey
Room 0.3, Merchant Ventures Building, Woodland Road, Clifton, Bristol.
HomeSense is trialling data collection and visualization techniques in UK households using fixed and mobile sensors. The project is cataloguing technical reliability and security issues, the methodological and ethical issues in preparing and carrying out this work both on and off site. It will demonstrate what sensors can add of value into the mix of established methods in household research, and build guidelines for good practice. In this paper, we outline our mixed-methods approach. Walking interviews and records of time use provide valuable insights into household practices such as cooking, mealtimes, sleep, entertainment, home working and house chores. They implicate all sorts of powered devices involved in these practices, but much of household activity can be detected by sensors as fluctuations in electricity use, temperature, humidity, particulates, objects/bodies in range, noise levels, and physical activity. We take examples of how to 'see' household practices in sensor-generated data, what the indications look like in algorithmic signatures, and how other data support what is observed. Finally, we will discuss some of the potentials and limitations in using
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