Context is important. Without context, text messages and emails are often misinterpreted, stories don’t have the same impact, and managing and deploying technologies can be more difficult. Wait, what? Managing and deploying technologies? Yes!
What is contextual awareness?
Mobile technologies can tell us where a device is located, where it has been, what direction it’s headed, and how it’s being used. This information allows us to develop a footprint that could map out a device—and its owner’s—daily activities. This is essentially contextual awareness, and can lead to apps and information being presented automatically to users based upon context.
How does it work?
Location-based technologies provide a whole new frontier in how technology is contextually delivered and deployed. With accuracy and cost issues plaguing GPS, RFID, and wireless positioning technologies, the door has been opened for iBeacon technology.
Introduced by Apple with the release of iOS 7, iBeacons provide proximity-based tracking, rather than location-based tracking, offering a highly accurate, affordable, user privacy conscious, and integrated solution for organizations looking to deploy technologies to users based upon indoor location.
Who can use it?
This technology is proving valuable for schools, businesses, and IT teams. Schools and businesses are able to distribute apps and content, restrict device settings, and mirror Apple TVs all based on location. IT staffs are also seeing the benefits by using iBeacons to automatically conduct maintenance tasks or collect device inventory when users visit the help desk.
Beyond the beacon, there is a sea of infinite possibilities when it comes to leveraging contextual awareness. This technology is becoming an important part of deployment and decision-making and will only continue to grow in its utility.