This Week in Context (20130823)

Before we start of with this week’s list of context-related news, let’s have a quick look in what context we’re using the terms context and context-aware. David explains it for you. Now that you know what context is, do you feel all excited? Or is it something else that put a smile on your face? Keep tabs on your emotions – and what triggers a switch in mood – by installing EmotionSense for Android, as far as I know the first publicly available app that lets you track your moods and see them in the context of your smartphone’s sensor data and your phone usage.  And now on to this week’s news that caught our eye:

  • Beddit: A Proper Sleep Tracker That Uses An Ultra-Thin Film Sensor in Your Bed
    How was your night’s rest? You’ll soon know in extensive detail, if you add a Beddit to your bed. The ultra-thin sensor device uses ballistocardiography, and has a sensor sensitive enough to measure the mechanical forces from a person’s heartbeat, his breathing patterns and his movements movement in bed. The sensor is a thin strip of film with adhesive on one side that acts like a sticker on a mattress. There aren’t any batteries required because it needs a low-voltage USB power supply. (Hat tip to Marco)
  • BBC Horizon – Monitor Me
    Grab your Fitbit, Basic Watch and some popcorn, as it’s movie night! We’re watching the BBC Horizon documentary ‘Monitor Me’:

    Technology now allows us to monitor ourselves around the clock; how we exercise, how we sleep, even how we sit. Inspired by the boom in health-related apps and gadgets,  Dr Kevin Fong goes to interview the pioneers of this revolution. From the England Rugby 7s team, whose coach knows more about his players’ health than a doctor would, to the most monitored man in the world who diagnosed a life threatening disease from his own data, without going to the doctor. A must-watch, according to TJ.
  • The Who, What and When of iPhone and iPad Usage
    ‘Context-aware apps’ is sometimes used to solely describe apps that are able to determine which device you are currently using, and to customize an offer or promotion based on that. Although we beg to differ and believe being context-aware is much more than just knowing if you’re on an iPad or using an Android phone, this overview by Flurry of how different personas prefer different devices, and what type of actions users prefer to do on which device at what time, is worth the read. (And there’s an Android version too.)
  • I’d like to have me some moj.io
    When someone asks me to join the world’s first connected car platform, I reply: take my money, and give me data in return. Alas, world, in this case, seem to be limited to Canada and the US. What is a mojio, and why would I want it? A mojio is an always-connected sensor device that plugs into your car’s diagnostic port (OBD connector), which allows it to read out your car’s data such as speed, acceleration, fuel usage, … . Currently they supply some neat features already, such as tracking how your kids use your car, ‘where’s my car’ functionality, easy mileage tracking for expenses, autotexts that – automatically – inform your appointments when you’ll be late, and – my fav – good-driving-behaviour-gamification through points that reward safe driving.
  • Dojit-Notify – Give your apps a push!
    David noticed Dojit, a service that brings context-awareness to game-related push notifications. Developers can create personalized notification strategy through easy-to-setup recipes.
  • SmartThings Launches An Online And Mobile Shop For ‘Internet Of Things’ Devices
    What better endpoints for context-aware interactions than Internet-enabled devices? What about an app that learns your household habits of when the light is on and when the blinds are closed, so that it can replicate this behaviour when you are away to deter thieves? (also via David)
  • Sensoria Sensor Socks reach funding goal
    Heapsylon has reached their IndieGogo target and got their sensor-infused (and luckily, washable) ‘Sensoria Fitness’ socks funded. The socks’ technology makes them a super accurate fitness tracker, able to measure basic absolute and shear pressure, which can provide information about when and where the foot lands on the ground, as well as stride length, cadence, intensity and activity type, whether you’re standing, walking, running. We see many possible applications, not just in fitness, but also for eHealth.

Let us know if there’s anything we’ve missed, or if you’re doing something awesomely context-related that should definitely make next week’s list! Amongst other ways to reach us, we’re on Twitter and Google+.

 

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