View the latest news from departments within the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine below.
Dr Arshad Jhumka from the department’s Artificial Intelligence research theme has been awarded a grant as PI, under the PETRAS SRF programme, to develop and deploy a trusted edge-based Internet of Things (IoT) network. IoT networks are expected to be deployed as solutions to problems in a wide variety of contexts, from non-critical applications such as smart city monitoring to providing support to emergency services such as critical communications. As IoT devices are resource constrained, execution of resource-hungry applications will be offloaded to edge networks for quick response. Such an infrastructure is open to cyber-attacks and needs to be resilient to attack.
An exploding white dwarf star blasted itself out of its orbit with another star in a ‘partial supernova’ and is now hurtling across our galaxy at 900.000km/h, according to a new study led by Boris Gänsicke from the Warwick Astronomy and Astrophysics group, published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. It opens up the possibility of many more survivors of supernovae travelling undiscovered through the Milky Way, as well as other types of supernovae occurring in other galaxies that astronomers have never seen before. Have a look at the Warwick press release press release and the paper for free on arXiv.
Breakthrough in studying ancient DNA from Doggerland that separates the UK from Europe
Professor Wanda Lewis, from the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Smart home technologies are marketed to enhance your home and make life easier. However, UK consumers are not convinced that they can trust the privacy and security of these technologies, a study by WMG, University of Warwick has shown.
The ‘smart home’ can be defined as the integration of Internet-enabled, digital devices with sensors and machine learning in the home. The aim of smart home devices is to provide enhanced entertainment services, easier management of the home, domestic chores and protection from domestic risks. They can be found in devices such as smart speakers and hubs, lighting, sensors, door locks and cameras, central heating thermostats and domestic appliances.
To better understand consumer's perceptions of the desirability of the smart home, researchers from WMG and Computer Science, University of Warwick have carried out a nationally representative survey of UK consumers designed to measure adoption and acceptability, focusing on awareness, ownership, experience, trust, satisfaction and intention to use.
The article ‘Trust in the smart home: Findings from a nationally representative survey in the UK’ published in the top journal PlosOne reveals their results, with the main finding that the the business proposal of added meaning and value has not yet achieved closure from consumers, as they have highlighted concern for risks to privacy and security.
Researchers sent 2101 participants a survey, with questions to assess:
- Awareness of the Internet of Things (IoT)
- Current ownership of smart home devices
- Experiences of their use of smart home devices
- Trust in the reliability and competence of the devices
- Trust in privacy
- Trust in security
- Satisfaction and intention to use the devices in the future, and intention to recommend it to others
The findings suggest consumers had anxiety about the likelihood of a security incident, as overall people tend to mildly agree that they are likely to risk privacy as well as security breach when using smart home devices, in other words they are unconvinced that their privacy and security will not be at risk when they use smart home devices.
It also emerged that when asked to evaluate the impact of a privacy breach people tend to disagree that its impact will be low, suggesting they expect the impact of a privacy breach to be significant. This emerges as a prominent factor influencing whether or not they would adopt smart home technology, furthermore making it less likely.
Other interesting results highlight:
- More females than males have adopted smart home devices over the last year, possibly as they tend to run the house and find the technology helpful
- Young people ages 18-24) were the earliest adopters of smart home technology, however older people (ages 65+) also adopted it early, possibly as they have more disposable income and less responsibilities – e.g. no mortgage, no dependent children
- People aged 65 and over are less willing to use smart home devices in case of unauthorised data collection compared to younger people, indicating younger people are less aware of privacy breaches
- Less well-educated people are the least interested in using smart home devices in the future, and that these might constitute market segments that will be lost to smart home adoption, unless their concerns are specifically addressed and targeted by policymakers and businesses.
“Our study underlines how businesses and policymakers will need to work together to act on the sociotechnical affordances of smart home technology in order to increase consumers’ trust. This intervention is necessary if barriers to adoption and acceptability of the smart home are to be addressed now and in the future.
“Proof of cybersecurity and low risk to privacy breaches will be key in smart home technology companies persuading a number of consumers to invest in their technology.”
Professor Rob Procter, from Computer Science, University of Warwick, adds:
“Businesses are still actively promoting positive visions of what the smart home means for consumers (e.g., convenience, economy, home security). However, at the same time, as we see from our survey results, consumers are actively comparing their interactional experiences against these visions and are coming up with different interpretations and meanings from those that business is trying to promote.”