Diffusion of assistive technology among older people: A case of the House of the Present

Erik Zwierenberg* (Corresponding Author), Evelyn Finnema, Ate Dijkstra, Mariët Hagendoor, Robbert Sanderman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
253 Downloads (Pure)


In Smart Homes set up for demonstration purposes (hereafter: model Smart Homes), innovative Smart Homes and assistive technologies are presented that can enhance the quality of life of older people who continue to live in their own home until a high age. New assistive technologies spread through a network of people - if the innovation can be observed and experienced. In the Netherlands, the 'House of the Present' is such a model Smart Home. The aim of the present case study is to share experiences with the House of the Present and the views of visitors regarding the diffusion of Smart Home and assistive technologies: How do visitors assess their experience of a model Smart Home and the presented assistive technology solutions for the care of older people? Based on the Diffusion of Innovation theory, common sense and a systematic review of factors influencing the acceptance of technology among older people observed on site, a questionnaire was developed and presented to visitors to the House of the Present. A total of 131 visitors completed the questionnaire. Visitors recommend to others a visit to the House of the Present Smart Home (M=4.32) to observe on-site assistive technologies for care and wellbeing (M=4.21). Innovators (3.8% vs 2.5% of the overall population) and Early Adopters (38.9% vs 13.5% of the overall population) are over-represented. Visitors comment on the different types of exhibited products, and for 22 product groups, a list ranging from the most to the least valued groups of Smart-Home and assistive technologies was drawn up. This research shows that model Smart Homes demonstrating assistive technology are positively received by visitors. What we do not know yet is how effective model Smart Homes are in diffusing innovations in assistive technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Living lab
  • Model Smart Homes
  • Older people
  • Education


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