HomeSense

The objective of HomeSense is to develop tools to facilitate and simplify responsible use of sensors in social research. The project is a collaboration between the Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS) and the 5G Innovation Centre.

Drawing on developments in the use of fixed and mobile sensors to measure location, movement, noise levels, air quality, temperature, energy use and a range of physical states, the project team is trialling use of sensors in a sample of UK households.

The households come in all sorts of configurations, varying in ways of organising use of rooms, devices and energy sources, as well as the extent of communications amongst household members and purposes for which members spend their time at home. Observations of households to-date have relied on self-reporting and on-site observations. For HomeSense we are collecting data from fixed and mobile sensors, and managing (technologically and responsibly) intensive measurement of state, location, activity and interaction.

We intend to show how this method affects respondent burden, consent, privacy and data security, and how data can be converted into meaningful descriptions of socially relevant activities in conjunction with time-use diaries, questionnaires and walking interviews/observations.

We will document the technical and ethical considerations that arise from sensors; test the value of sensors for social research, and develop a suite of tools and resources for training and capacity-building activities through the UK National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM).

For the latest news and development see the HomeSense project news category.

HomeSense Timeline

Journal Article: Using Sensors to Study Home Activities

18th December 2017

Jiang, J., Pozza, R., Gunnarsdóttir, K., Gilbert, N. and Moessner, K. (2017). Using Sensors to Study Home Activities. Journal of Sensors and Actuator Networks 6(4), 32. Also, see blog post: Recognising Activities at Home using sensors: a HomeSense fieldwork case study

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Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir presentation on managing ‘ground truth’

6th December 2017

Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir presentation on managing ‘ground truth’ in HomeSense data analysis at a symposium, on ‘post-truth’ at the TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, Norway

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‘Acceptability and Value of IoT in the Home’ workshop Tokyo

7th September 2017

7 & 8 September, CRESS Research Fellow in Computational Social Science Dr Jie Jiang attended Joint UK/Japan Workshop on ‘Acceptability and Value of IoT in the Home’ at the British Embassy, Tokyo, at which she presented a paper titled ‘Using IoT to study life at home’, on designing, implementing and practising a sensor-based research strategy for the Homesense project.

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Publication of paper in Proceedings ICFNDS ’17

28th August 2017

Publication of paper in Proceedings ICFNDS ’17

Recognising Activities at Home: Digital and Human Sensors published in ICFNDS ’17 Proceedings of the International Conference on Future Networks and Distributed Systems, Article No. 17.

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ICFNDS 2017

19th July 2017

Jie Jiang presents paper ‘Recognising Activities at Home: Digital and Human Sensors’ ICFNDS 2017, International Conference on Future Networks and Distributed Systems, @Cambridge_Uni, Jie Jiang The Premier International Conference on Next Generation Networking Technologies. See: Jie Jiang presents ‘Recognising Activities at Home: Digital and Human Sensors’ paper at ICFNDS’17

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NatCen-ESS ERIC-City methodology seminar

11th May 2017

Professor Nigel Gilbert, University of Surrey presentation at, City University, London, for NatCen-ESS ERIC-City methodology seminar series on Using digital sensors to understand activity in the home. Also see the blog post by Debbie Collins, Nathan Senior Research Director (Methodologist): What role can sensor data play in social research?

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Start of participant recruitment

29th March 2017

‘Making sense of the household’ presentation at SPHERE

1st December 2016

Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir and Jie Jiang presentation: ‘Making sense of the household’ at SPHERE, an EPSRC Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC), University of Bristol.

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ESRC Seminar

10th October 2016

Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir and Jie Jiang presentation ‘The HomeSense project: Novel instruments for household research and observational research’ at an ESRC Seminar event at the University of Southampton: ‘Microenterprise, technology and big data: new forms of digital enterprise and work and ways to research them‘, session on exploring new data and methods.

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Presentation at Japan-EU Symposium on ICT Research and Innovation

7th October 2016

Presentation at Japan-EU Symposium on ICT Research and Innovation

Klaus Moessner presented HomeSense as part of a presentation on ‘Situational security, controlled privacy‘ at 6th Japan-EU Symposium on ICT Research and Innovatio, Tokyo

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RICHFIELDS Horizon 2020 workshop

27th September 2016

Dr Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir participated in Food and health big data stakeholders workshop on specifying and characterising rich data, at Exchange Avenue, Schiphol, Amsterdam, organised for the RICHFIELDS H2020-funded project (GA: 654280).

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NCRM Research Methods Festival

5th July 2016

NCRM Research Methods Festival

Professor Nigel Gilbert presented HomeSense and convened a session, titled: ‘The Ethics of Sensors’, at the NCRM Research Methods Festival, 5-7 July, University of Bath.

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Workshop

20th June 2016

Workshop

Two-day INSIGHTS: bringing together sensor technology and social research workshop (expert consultation) in London with experts in ethics and legal scholarship, IoT and home automation, using sensors with Time Use studies, in psychology research, computer-human interaction studies and citizen initiatives (Quantified Self).

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Nigel Gilbert presentation at NCRM Annual Centre Meeting, Southampton

19th April 2016

Announcement of NCRM Methodological Research Project award

11th January 2016

Announcement of NCRM Methodological Research Project award

ESRC announcement of HomeSense as one of seven NCRM Methodological Research Projects to start in January 2016. Each project tackles a specific, cutting-edge topic and promises to deliver valuable insights into new research methods.

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Homesense Project Start

1st January 2016

Research posts advertised

24th November 2015

Advertising of two post-doctoral research posts  

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Grant Offer letter from ESCRC

6th November 2015

HomeSense Research Grants Proposal to ESRC

24th June 2015

HomeSense Research Grants Proposal to ESRC

The core project objective is to develop and demonstrate how digital sensors and devices can be used to advantage in social research.

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