The lights are on, but no one’s home: A performance test to measure digital skills to use IoT home automation

Pia S. de Boer*, Alexander J.A.M. van Deursen, Thomas J.L. van Rompay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

As the Internet of Things (IoT) is making its entrance in people’s homes, differences in the skills to operate smart home devices need to be considered. This study examined (1) the levels of digital skills to use IoT home automation among Dutch adult citizens and (2) differences of these skills over gender, age, and education. Therefore, a performance test with actual real-life tasks was conducted among a representative sample (N = 99) of the Dutch adult population to measure digital skill levels. The participants performed tasks while using interconnected smart home devices in a virtual test environment. The results revealed that the Dutch adult population possesses insufficient data and strategic skills to use smart home devices to its full potential. Even less likely to benefit are the elderly and less educated; they showed the lowest levels of data and strategic skills. In addition, the elderly lack operational skills to use IoT home automation beneficially.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
JournalNew Media and Society
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 15 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Digital divide
  • Digital inequality
  • Digital skills
  • Home automation
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Performance test
  • Smart home
  • UT-Hybrid-D

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