My smartphone knows from my email that I’m due to fly out of an airport 20 miles away later today. When I open up my phone, it will tell me that the flight is on time and that the there’s no traffic on the route but I should leave 2 hours before the flight to get there in time, all without even having to click of a button.
Welcome to the Age of Context.
Well, actually the beginning of the Age of Context. As Shel Israel and Robert Scoble explained at the Social Media Breakfast, East Bay this week, we’re only still scratching the surface. During their presentation (based on their new book, titled, yep, ‘Age of Context‘) they took us on a journey showing the huge potential for technology to meaningfully impact our lives. When everything has a sensor, when we can real-time process vast arrays of data, when we have wearable intelligent devices, a whole world of opportunity opens up.
What struck me most about the the presentation was the link between this Internet of Things/wearable tech narrative and the concept of pinpoint marketing. Less ‘spray and pray’ marketing, as Scoble put it. We’re talking marketing tailored to me given the rich body of information known about me. Maybe even marketing isn’t the best term as from the individual viewpoint, I would just interact with an assistant that helps me through my life, perhaps occasionally offering useful products/services that I’d pay for.
In a follow-up conversation with the insightful Bill Flitter of dlvr.it, he did make the excellent point that in order for this to become a reality, we really need a platform where we’re happy to collate all this data. As we see in the smartphone app world, the model is one of task-specific computing via multiple providers. Each one understands a micro-piece of me. It’s pretty siloed. We’re missing a trusted, reliable, standardized platform. Maybe Google, Amazon or another major player will provide the glue. But we will need to collectively buy-in in order to make this a reality.
All thought-provoking stuff!
Check out the slides from the presentation:
We have also posted the recording of the presentation on the Age of Context on YouTube
You can see commentary on the event from this Twitter Timeline from Bryan Person.