Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Typology of Contextual Awareness

The ability for mobile devices to detect and respond to users' context is one of the most powerful features of mobile technology.

My research focuses on location-awareness in mobile apps, but this is one type of contextual awareness. As I love typologies so much, I thought it would be useful to list the types of contextual awareness related to mobiles.

Environmental Context:
  • Location (using positioning technology, such as GPS)
  • Proximity to points of interest
  • Direction facing (using compass)
  • Weather and visibility of resources (using weather forecasts)
  • Country or state/province (via IP address )
  • Light conditions
  • Ambient noise
Temporal Context:
  • Time of day and date
  • Temporal proximity (travel time)
User Motion Context:
  • Contact with other devices (via bumping)
  • Speed (using accelerometer)
  • Orientation and tilting (using gyroscope)
User Behaviour Context:
  • Most visited/downloaded sites/apps
  • When use apps/sites
  • Language of user
User Profile (if user supplies:
  • Demographics (age, gender, education, etc.)
  • Display preferences
  • Content and interests preferences
Social Context:
  • Friends' proximity (via they sharing their location on their mobiles)
  • Friends' names (via contacts list or social networks)
  • Device type, version, operation system
  • Proximity to networks or wired resources
The way these various contextual awareness factors can be combined can result in incredible abilities for mobile devices to become more responsive to our conditions and needs.

This isn't my area of speciality, so I'd really like for some feedback on my classification scheme or any additions or corrections.

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