University of Maryland

Smart Home Study (Summer 2021)

Note: Recruitment for this study closed on July 15, 2021. We will notify the raffle winner by the end of the month and begin reaching out to people to schedule focus groups soon. We are unable to talk with everyone who completed the screener survey but we appreciate you taking the time to complete it.

Do you use a smart speaker like Amazon Alexa or Google Home? Do you have a smart thermostat, smart locks, a Ring doorbell, and/or other “smart” devices in your home? Do you use an app to control the lights in your home, or to monitor a baby, or to check that you locked the door on your way out? If you answered yes to any of these questions and you live in the US, we want to talk to you! 

We’re running virtual focus groups this summer with people who use smart home devices to make their lives easier and manage their home efficiently. During the one-hour Zoom session, we’ll talk about what you like–and don’t like–about these devices, and also talk about how they learn about your habits and what happens to that data. We want to hear about what ways you might want to monitor the information these smart devices collect, and brainstorm ideas about what would help you best manage how smart devices collect and use data about your home. The virtual focus group sessions will be recorded but will only be accessible by the research team.

If you’re interested in participating, please complete this brief screener survey (, and we’ll be in touch to schedule you for a session if you qualify. Everyone who completes the survey will be able to enter a raffle for a $75 gift card, and all focus group participants will get a $30 gift card for their time. 

If you have questions about this project, please feel free to contact the principal investigators:

Dr. Jessica Vitak
University of Maryland, 4130 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20742

Dr. Michael Zimmer
Marquette University, 1313 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee WI 53233