Imagine you are passing by your favorite clothing store and you receive a notification about the latest collection and trends at the store. You also get information on the outfits that will be suitable for an important office meeting, a friend’s wedding or a vacation you have planned.
Then, you pass by a market and are greeted by another notification about re-filling the stock in your refrigerator. You also get detailed information about the calorie count, essential vitamins and nutrients in the food stock.
All these scenarios are powered by future-ready context-driven technology, which blend information from mobile, social, digital and physical world, thereby constructing new experiences for consumers.
According to me major disruption by context aware technology is expected by the use of model-driven security in fraud detection and prevention, convergence in Web and mobile advertising, television and new styles of application programming. The advance use of personal and external information for customizing user experiences will be of interest to governments in regulating and managing contextual information access and control.
Context-based devices will also leverage technologies like machine-learning, AI, predictive analytics and cloud computing. Though all the context aware technologies are in early adaptation stages, they will provide a solid framework for the adoption of context-based devices.
Let us take a look at some real life instances.
From 24-hour-a-day records of our life experiences to friend-lists that signal our presence and tagging applications that provide a way for groups to describe shared space to complex car systems that re-route us at the first hint of a traffic snarl; real-world applications are already heralding us into the future.
But context-based devices or technologies are also about being meaningful. For instance, stores are the first place we interact with context-based environments. In this case, tags and visual cues will provide relevant details about products. Personalized holographic advertisements directed at shoppers will provide a powerful shopping experience. Independent reviews, comparative pricing, safety and nutritional information of products relayed real-time can add further value.
Based on the inputs, organizations can customize and tailor their products and services according to the needs of their customers through context-enriched services that will change their stores, e-commerce and mobile-user experience.
Contextually, the technologies arm shoppers with relevant details about a product. The tools can estimate how much exercise is needed to burn the calories in a serving, based on the user’s body mass index, which can easily fit-in in their personal health and fitness programs.
Since, payment card issuers and retailers hold important transactional information about their customers and possess vast amounts of information about the digital habits, which will allow context providers to redefine how customers search for and pay for customized services and products.
Secondly, location-aware travel guidance devices will combine orientation, navigation, and contextual information retrieval; these devices will combine the sensing functionality with the knowledge and clarity of a great guidebook. An important venue for context-aware devices would be residential neighborhoods.
The technology will dominate our passage on roads, rails and airways. Transportation planners will find it easy to deploy systems that would integrate surveillance cameras and sensors to monitor traffic flow with traffic information systems (TIS). With these systems providing contextual information, driver behavior can be influenced and managed in order to provide control freak accidents.
A context-aware home will track the occupants and objects in the house and simultaneously respond to changing situation. For example, the smart homes will turn lights and appliances on and off, alert us to dangers or give us a heads up about certain situations.
One more compelling application could be towards elder care. Context-enabled devices can be used as a way to sense the activities the elders are engaged in and assist them in those activities through remote caretakers who are updated on a regular basis.
Surveillance is yet another important aspect of context-based technology. Intelligent equipment capture and match faces with photographic databases and help numerous corporations, hospitals, universities, campuses, buildings and residences.
While human users are at the core of many emerging forms of context-aware computing, future scenarios will involve machines that exchange contextual information, independently, without human intervention. We can imagine independent robotic devices will negotiate contextual exchanges with other familiar or unfamiliar robots in what might be described as robot ecology.