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Latest insights and trends in Personal Analytics, Operational Intelligence, and Workplace Productivity.

Jun 03
What's Next After Smartphones
Smart phones are about to get a whole heckuva lot smarter, according to Clark Dod​sworth in a recent Silicon Valley Forum, Emerging Tech SIG, meetup presentation.  Dodworth, who has a background in designing and developing mobile devices, sees a new generation of "context aware" devices on the horizon that will blow the socks off the wear​able health and fitness monitors like Fitbit, Jawbone Up and Nike+ FuelBand currently on the market.  
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In computer terminology, 'context awareness' refers to the idea that computers can both sense and react based on their environment.  According to Dodsworth, full-on context-aware devices will include constant, integrated analytics of a person’s news feeds with data from large numbers of sensors that are always-on, including sensors​ for orientation, motion, air sampling, spatial audio, and 3D image capture.  "Smart phones will very, very soon have more sensors than processors,"​ said Dodsworth.

“It’s a good bet that a lot of those sensors will be on your wrist, too” Dodsworth said, pointing to the recently unveiled Samsung Simband wristband that can be fitted with third-party sensors to gather a wide-range of health data about the wearer's body, including readings for heart rate, blood flow, respiration, galvanic skin response, hydration, and glucose concentrations in the blood, as well as data about substances carried in the surrounding air.  “All of these sensors can now be put on a device no bigger than existing smartwatches.” 


Dodsworth noted that several technology trends are converging to enable this new wave of mobile devices: sensor power usage, battery energy density, realtime analytics and the emergence of local ad hoc wireless mesh networks where connections are created "on-the-fly" among a small number of devices.  “The result will be a 24/7 sensor platform that will be play a central role in much of your daily behavior, needs, and interactions.”  He ranked the types of Context Awareness the new devices will exploit in eight categories, in ascending order:   "It goes from the user outward, from the immediate physical location to nearby to remote and cloud-based elements ..."
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