Tech Evangelist and Thought leader Robert Scoble is a blogger, technical evangelist, author and premier thought leader on the age of context which we are now entering.
"The Age of Context is about how we relate to everything around us. It has to do with what we take in with our five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell, and how what we perceive with them affects the situations we find ourselves in. It influences the choices we make, based on what’s going on around us and what we expect or want to do next."
Above all, it’s Google Glass that’s ushering in the Age of Context. Scoble, a big fan of Glass and the 107th person to receive a prototype, is both a pioneer and evangelist of the new terrain being developed for this interface.
All Things Glass
Glass is not just about wearing a pair of camera and phone-enabled glasses on your head – that is just the outward static product. Glass is about Google knowing whether you are looking up or down, who you are looking at (via facial recognition) and where you are in the world (via geolocation). Glass can detect your eye movement, your walking direction (north, south, from here to there), whether or not you are in conversation and who you are in conversation with (via other Glass owner detection).
Through Google this information can then be assembled in conjunction with the subject matter of your emails, who you are corresponding with, which ads you click, your browser and search behavior, what appointments you’ve booked in your calendar and perhaps what subjects you are writing about (via Google Drive).
All in all, Google is going to have a pretty good understanding of us as individuals, our pathways through our day, who we meet, where we go, what time we wake, what meetings we attend, what we are interested in and what questions we have.
Combined with health sensors, such as those detecting our heartbeat rate or blood sugar level, a dynamic picture of us will emerge complete with our hopes, dreams, aspirations and frustrations, along with the more mundane aspects of our lives such as relationship status, job searches, and media viewing habits. Scary and exciting stuff.
The Five Forces of Context
Age of Context covers the bases of what’s being done right now by smart, forward thinking companies and what’s on the near edge of the future. Retail, sports franchises, maps, sensors, auto industry, Geo-fencing, anticipatory systems, self-driving cars, urban planning, maker movement and contextual health are all covered and broken down into the discrete technologies powering each experience.
The book delves into the five forces of context: mobile, social media, data, sensors and location and the resulting commerce of convenience such as pinpoint marketing that can result when you understand the greater context of your customer.
Diving into the Digital World
The potential of the digital world is vast and deep but charting a course as to how to get there is often confusing and murky. We exist with legacy technology and in many cases, legacy ideas that need to be examined and challenged.
The API economy is in full swing. Big Data is here. The Internet of Things just around the corner. At Elastic Path we’ve come to realize that to be able to play in this space you need to have certain architectural “philosophies” that value openness and integration over the hard-fast boundaries that used to define a corporation. Your backend architecture will change, your executive C-level will be challenged and internal roles will shift as “the compelling notion of context —the sum total of what your customer has told you and is experiencing at the moment of engagement” is taken into account.
Celebrating the Age of Context
“Companies must prepare themselves for the coming Age of Context,” said Scoble. “Contextual awareness isn’t far into the future -- it’s now and it’s changing our lives and how business is done. The companies left standing will be the ones who realize this potential and seek to monetize it,” he said. “As the only ecommerce company we know of that actually understands the concept of contextual technology, we are pleased to have Elastic Path involved with the book launch.” This is why we are celebrating this book and its authors. Who better to bring us insight into the future than Scoble and Israel, who can pull it all together for us and paint a picture of tomorrow by showing us examples already in play today?
Congratulations Robert and Shel for a timely, important book that everyone from Marketers, IT, and CEOs will appreciate as it sets the bar as to what is coming up with respect to context and provides working examples that entertain and enlighten by showing us the end experience.