Published on June 30th, 2013 | by Shashwat Pradhan1
The Contextual World is Here
Since the last few years mobile apps have undoubtedly become an integral part of our lives. Also the complexity of mobile applications has been growing substantially. With exponentially increasing sensors, wearable devices, data from social media, location based technology and data storage innovations applications are now adapting to the users context. Like for example in the movie theatre a phone can silence itself using geofencing or the map app can suggest indoor places when its raining. These are just simple examples to begin with.
The last decade has been heavily devoted towards connecting applications with your social world. Now we see contextual apps bridging your social world to your contextual world. The life cycle of a contextual app is: Sense – Understand – Adapt.
Sense: Passive collection of contextual information. (eg. Theatre geofenced)
Understand: Prioritisation of activities based on context and triggers. Passive/active triggers. (Silent phone needed)
Adapt: Actions based on contextual triggers. (Vibrate mode)
To illustrate how contextual apps work, I shall try and share an example. At ReFocus Labs we have been working on ARKick. Your personal Augmented Reality, contextual, social sidekick app. Utilising context we aim to make augmented reality apps actually feasible for day to day use. So ARKick follows a similar app lifecycle.
1. Sense: It not only senses physical parameters like your location and direction orientation but also studies the context through your social world.(Facebook currently)
2. Understand: ARKick understands the weather, location, temperature, time, day and your favourite places through facebook.
3. Adapt: ARKick uses its sidekick engine and adapts the place suggestions according to all the parameters it used to adapt and gives the user information in the Augmented Reality World.
ARKick is a hybrid (combination of native and HTML5)app and will be available for Android, BlackBerry 10 and iOS in couple of months.
Robert Scoble has been working around the contextual side of technology as a tech evangelist for a while now and will be soon even launching his book ‘The Age of Context’ with Shel Israel on October 1st.
The Contextual World through the eye’s of Robert Scoble(with his Google Glasses on):
Q. What are some of your favourite contextual applications?
Apps like Sherpa on Android, Atooma on Android, Google Now, Tempo on iOS, etc.
Q. Which platform do you think has an edge in the contextual world(with even BB10 launching APIs for contextual apps)?