Smart home technology (SHT) has been identified as a promising means of helping seniors to remain independent and maintain their quality of life (QoL) while containing spiralling care costs for older people. Despite official pilot schemes in many countries to promote SHT in seniors housing, there is limited understanding of the forms that such SHT interventions should take. This study builds on the analytical model of intelligent building control systems developed by the author; the aim is to provide a systematic approach to understanding the key intelligent attributes of smart-home devices. A qualitative participatory evaluation approach involving focus groups was adopted to investigate the needs of seniors and their SHT preferences. Fourteen features of the SHT technical requirements of four key intelligent attribute types were identified. This study's insights will help to shape the way SHT is designed and used.