Fanimation Aire Decor 5 Blade Builder Series Fans. Energy saving and health are the two dominant application domains for persuasive systems in smart home environments. Current research and development projects are often in the experimental phase, implementing and evaluating only prototype systems. Extensive user studies providing a detailed account of the effect of an implemented persuasive system on people’s behavior are therefore scarce.

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Since long, persuasion, or exerting influence, has been associated with certain professions such as sales people, therapists, coaches, and teachers. Recent technological developments create the possibility of using computers as persuasive instruments, as a means to elicit specific (desired) behavior. Smart homes are equipped with sensors that can record the behavior of people, with smart algorithms that can analyze and interpret sensor data, and with intelligent everyday objects that are wirelessly connected.

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People should have sufficient resources and relationships and the right environmental conditions to be able to perform the desired behavior. Moreover, opportune moments need to occur for the behavior to actually take place. If motivation is high and ability is provided for, creating an opportunity will make people really take the step to perform the behavior.

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One way is to provide people with information to convince them of the necessity and benefits of the target behavior (or the negative effects in case of bad behavior need to be reduced). Another way is to make the behavior itself more fun, more interesting, or more challenging. This may be more effective, because it increases the intrinsic motivation of people to perform the behavior. Finally, motivation can be increased by using principles of persuasion that have long been used in many disciplines, such as marketing, therapy, education, etc.

Recent technological advancements, such as the miniaturization of computer chips and the widespread availability of wireless connectivity, ensure that smart technology is becoming increasingly integrated in people’s everyday life. Today a large proportion of the population (including elderly) uses a smartphone or tablet computer. In addition, many household appliances have become intelligent (for instance, the washing machine and the thermostat).

Smart homes are equipped with all kinds of sensors, actuators, and intelligent software, integrated in furniture, walls, and everyday objects. Modern technology enables people to be interconnected always and everywhere. Computers are able to recognize what people are doing, and in case the observed behavior deviates from the normal pattern, family members or an emergency service can automatically be warned. In this way, computers have become excellent instruments for persuading people to perform specific behavior. Using computers to exert influence is called persuasive technology