Our Own Devices

Living in the Smart Home

Authored by: Chris Chesher , Justine Humphry

The Routledge Companion to Urban Media and Communication

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9780415792554
eBook ISBN: 9781315211633
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, we explore and map the meanings of the smart home from an urban media perspective. We canvas literature on the smart home and analyze a range of smart consumables, including their representation in advertisements, YouTube videos, online forums, and exhibition sites. We ask what these say and do to understandings of the home, how they reconfigure the space and time of home, how they express the home as “smart”, and what their role is in the larger process of smartification of domestic life and the post-industrial transformation of suburban living. Our examination shows that the home is “hypermediated”—it is the site of its constitution through the proliferation, interconnection, and interaction of a vast number of digital media devices, sensors, and screens. We demonstrate these transformations by mapping what we see as the four main processes of domestic smartification: automation, command, mediation of exteriorities, and play.

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