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Innovating for Sustainable Use: The Different Faces of Trust in Private Household Technologies

Paper presented at the 24th International CINet Conference Conference in September 2023 in Linz, Austria

Klotz, Ute & Wolf, Patricia. (2023). Innovating for Sustainable Use: The Different Faces of Trust in Private Household Technologies. 24th International CINet Conference Conference. 17-19 September 2023, Linz, Austria.

Abstract: The household appliance market affects many households and is significant in terms of sales. Innovations related to household appliances are based on new technologies, but they are also driven by the necessary aspect of sustainability. However, the use of more advanced household appliances depends heavily on the trust users have in them. In this research note, we argue that the conditions and dynamics of trust in household appliances may play an important role for their sustainable use. We use future scenarios to creatively assess the contradictions of trust in innovative household appliance use from a user perspective. We conducted two empirical research projects for this purpose, different in terms of scenario development methods and participants. In the first project, future scenarios were created with short videos; in the second project, flash fiction, short science fiction stories, were written, and based on these, future scenarios were created. The videos from the first project were analysed regarding the key themes and contradictions, while in the second project the analysis was based on an initial screening. Here, the hedonistic aspect, in the sense of humor, was recognized, which apparently can have a decisive influence on trust-building towards household appliances.