Technology Domestication in Later Life

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Technology domestication in old age may promote autonomy and support aging in place, but most previous research did not follow the process of domestication over time and in real life conditions. To gain deeper understanding of technology domestication in later life, we simultaneously explored uses, outcomes and constraints in real life conditions in a longitudinal study. Nineteen community-dwelling women aged 75–90 were provided with voice-controlled Intelligent Personal Assistants (Google Home) and their experiences with them were documented for three months via semi-structured interviews, observations, and weekly surveys. Analysis identified three different patterns of technology domestication: “Broad domestication” characterized by a high level of integration and ongoing experimentation, “focused domestication” in which the user mainly adopted one of the device’s functions, and “restrained domestication” wherein a short period of experimentation was followed by occasional use, if any. Demonstrating that the process of technology domestication is not homogeneous, the findings call for some theoretical updates and offer several practical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-350
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Aging, artificial intelligence, displacement, voice assistants, wellbeing


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