Context-aware computing 'worth $12bn by 2012'

Enterprises can leverage context-aware computing to better target prospects, increase customer contact, and enhance associate relationships, as organisations begin to use context information to increase top- and bottom-line growth and context providers begin to consolidate and ‘monetize’ their knowledge of their clients.

At the Gartner Symposium/IT Expo Sydney this week the speakers from the analyst group predicted that context information will be a $12bn market within three, with at least two global context providers each with more than 100m subscribers.

Context-aware computing is the concept of leveraging information about the end user to improve the quality of interaction with them. Context-enriched services will use location, presence, social attributes, and other environmental data, to anticipate end users needs.

Web vendors are well positioned to become context providers, Gartner argues, as they typically have large populations of users about whom they collect a significant amount of context information. They will be able to leverage some of their technology (i.e., instant messaging and social networking), but will need to extend their capabilities to be more context-aware. Gartner also believes that Web vendors that do not become a context provider risk handing over effective customer ownership to someone else, ‘with a significant impact on their mobile and classic Web businesses’.

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