Visions and realities: developing 'smart' homes for seniors in Sweden

Anna Essén, Moya Conrick


The smart home concept with its vision of embedding technology in houses or apartments gained much interest during the end of the 20th and the beginning of 21st century. Although the vision remains, the enthusiasm has diminished somewhat with the one exception: senior housing. Smart homes for seniors have been touted in recent years as the means of enabling ‘aging at home’ and so relieve the pressure on health systems. This research examines the players, issues and current state of development of technology based services in the senior housing sector in Sweden. It is underpinned by the theories of development and innovation and the use of qualitative methods such as observations and in-depth interviews with a broad cross section of players in the sector. This research reveals some of the shortcomings of the approaches used in developing smart housing for the senior population. These include the focus on the technical possibilities rather than solving the every day problems of end-users, the narrow scope of projects, lack of multidisciplinary involvement and insufficient resource.


Smart Housing; Assistive Technology; Aged Care Informatics; Smart Technology; Health Informatics

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