Contextual Computing: Our Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth senses
In the coming years, there will be a shift toward what is now known as contextual computing, defined in large part by Georgia Tech researchers Anind Dey and Gregory Abowd about a decade ago. Always-present computers, able to sense the objective and subjective aspects of a given situation, will augment our ability to perceive and act in the moment based on where we are, who we’re with, and our past experiences. These are our sixth, seventh, and eighth senses.
Hints of this shift are already arriving. Mobile devices with GPS deliver location-based services, which sets a baseline for the many ways your phone can gather information it will use to make your life easier down the line. Amazon’s and Netflix’s recommendation engines, while not magnificently intuitive, feed you book and video recommendations based on your behavior and ratings. Facebook’s and Twitter’s valuations are premised on the notion that they can leverage knowledge of your acquaintances and interests to push out relevant content and market to you in more effective ways.
“Future platforms designed for contextual computing will make mobile tech seem closer to toys than to a phone with cool tools. ”
These merely scratch the surface.
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