Friday, 16 May 2014

Your Smartphone Could Get Even Smarter

At the moment, your phone knows where you are and the direction you’re facing, but it could soon know about context.

This means that not only will your smartphone know where you are, but it will also know what you’re doing, who you are with and what you are likely to do next. There’s a name for this too; contextual computing.

Contextual computing will mean that our smartphones and other mobile devices will become great personal assistants, even better than they are now.

This clever piece of technology will be able to anticipate our every need, so if we needed to find a hotel, for example, our next smartphones will already know what hotel to look for based on our previous picks. So, if we have been to 3 hotels in the past and each of them had a swimming pool, our mobile device will search for hotels that also have a swimming pool; that’s the context.

Kevin Curran, senior member at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) said, “Contextual computing is the ability for a device to be aware of its user’s surroundings as well as their views, interests and behaviours.”

Although contextual computing seems like something completely new to us, there are already a number of apps around that try to use different sensors in order to calculate some context but these are nowhere near as advanced. CallWho is an app that gathers information from your call history so when you get your phone out of your pocket, your daily phone conversations will appear top.

SickWeather is an app that monitors Facebook statuses about people’s illnesses and their GPS location so you know when you’re near someone with an illness who is likely to pass it on. Strange, but wise!

These apps give us an indication of what sort of technology we can expect to be in our next smartphones. We are told to forget our current devices though and focus more on the future devices as these will be the ones that will feature contextual computing.

So, we will have to wait just that little bit longer!

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