Context Aware Computing and its Growing Importance and Impact on Technology

By Ryan Desmind | Apr 07, 2016

What works today is not just advertising. True, many Fortune 500 companies may be spending up to $500 million each year on advertising. Yet, the modern age demands a much more lethal tool — the use of context and that is what companies are slowly beginning to understand.

Modern technologies mean better use of resources and understanding one’s customers and audience in a deeper manner. With the help of Context Aware Computing, you get information that is related to what you need.

Welcome to the World of Context

Yes, artificial intelligence is still a distant reality today. However, that doesn’t mean the absence of augmented intelligence. Ever wonder how Google came up with suggestions for you according to your interests? Well, it is through the use of context.

It was simple earlier — as a business you put across what your customer needed. However, many businesses especially in the IT world began to understand that the needs of customers vary and constantly change — one needs to understand the context of the situation better in order to respond to the needs of the consumer.

When it comes to the contextual world, data is gathered, algorithms used and social graphs drawn by sensors to ensure that users get what they want. It is simple. When it comes to context aware computing, different variables are taken in by the device, including the user habits, the environmental information about them as well as other things to offer a personalized experience that is situation aware and understands the needs of the user.

Companies using Context Today

Among the companies who have jumped on to the context aware bandwagon are the likes of Intel. Intel has a rather simple principle — using context to make user experiences better. Sensors will monitor the user’s behavior and offer a bespoke experience, curtailed to the user’s needs and requirements. Therefore, you will have your computer or device responding differently to individual members of the household. Different types of niche are cropping up including Context Entertainment, which makes machines respond to the user to enable and create an environment that enriches daily life, through the use of contextually aware technology.

Truth be told, the sensors learn about you. It is much like the voice recognition Dragon Naturally Speaking that many professionals have on their PC. The software slowly learns how you speak and in turn makes typing through voice easier. With time, the learning ability of the software ensures that it does not make any mistakes while writing what you say. In fact, Samsung’s Smart TVs use the context technology as well, soft sensing our abilities to offer us better channel recommendations.

Among other companies, IBM has also been using context aware applications, through the use of Smarter Processes – that use real time decision support, event detection, BPM and more. Another example is Perceptive Software’s Pretrieve technology, which presents information to users based on their role, the privileges they have as well as their interaction with enterprise applications and processes.

The Advantages

The use of context aware applications isn’t just restricted to entertainment. In fact, the future holds a lot of promise and we will surely see context being used in some of the situations below:

  • Operations will be easier as surgeons will be able to view relevant important data like blood count as well as have anatomical references like the blood vessel location.
  • Context Aware Expertise Location and Management (ELM) systems will ensure that service techs can interact with subject matter experts when needed.
  • Expect further changes on how you work with your smart phones. Google is continually working on enhancing the context awareness quotient and we will see many changes soon.
  • You don’t need to tell your TVs what you want to watch or what you want to do — they can predict what you intend to do, which saves you time.

To Put Things in Perspective

It is quite startling actually as to what the market for context aware apps is. The New Report by MarketsandMarkets states that the Context Aware Computing Market should grow from $26.50 billion in 2013 to $119.90 billion by 2018. With enterprise mobility becoming the new vogue as far as work is concerned, the use of contextually relevant applications will further ease up work and add in a new dimension — something developers will be eager to cash in on.

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