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Abstract

Emerging somatosensory technology offers unprecedented opportunities for researchers and industrial practitioners to design a touchless smart home system. However, existing touchless smart home systems often fail to attract a satisfying level of acceptance among home owners. The experience users have with the touchless system is key to making somatosensory technology a pervasive computing home application, yet little research has been conducted to assess the influence of direct and indirect experience on user’s behavioral intention to use somatosensory technology. To address this research gap, this paper set up an experimental design to investigate the influence of direct and indirect experience in user technology acceptance. Using an in-house developed touchless system, two experimental studies (i.e., video observation versus product trial) were conducted with sixty-two participants to investigate whether the user experience has an impact on the adoption decision. Our findings indicate that direct experience has an impact on a user’s acceptance of somatosensory technology. We found a significant difference in the relationships between perceived complexity and usage intentions. Perceived complexity was a significant predictor of an individual’s behavioral intention to use the touchless system after video observation, while its relationship to usage intention was insignificant after the user had direct experience with touchless system. Our study reveals an important implication for somatosensory technology marketers, in which product trial (direct experience) engenders more reliable inferences than does exposure to video demonstration (indirect experience). Based on this, companies should devise marketing programme involving direct experience (e.g., product trial and showroom visit) to promote new somatosensory-enabled smart home systems. The results of the study also demonstrate that user experience in research design may influence the results of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) studies.

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