Smart home technologies (SHTs), such as smart thermostats, are a growing commercial opportunity. SHTs can offer a broad spectrum of potential functional, experiential and esthetic benefits, yet much of the prior research on the adoption of SHTs has been limited by a narrow TAM-based functional view. Relatively little is known about the salient user beliefs related to the experiential and esthetic benefits of SHTs that may affect SHT adoption. To address this gap in research, we conduct a mixed-methods study, wherein we inductively develop a set of factors that reflect salient user considerations associated with smart thermostats and we examine the effects of the elicited factors on the smart thermostat adoption intention. We find that performance expectancy, emphasized by TAM, has a relatively minor effect on the smart thermostat adoption intention and effort expectancy has no effect at all. We identify a novel factor, which we term techno-coolness, as the key predictor of the adoption intention in this context. Techno-coolness is a multidimensional construct that encompasses the perceptions that the technology can make a home look modern and futuristic, can make the user feel technologically advanced, and can be fun to use. Techno-coolness reveals that the technology capacity to fulfill higher-order psychological needs can dominate purely functional considerations in innovative technology adoption decisions.
- Smart home
- Technology adoption