What is Context-Awareness?

Context-aware environments and devices, broadly being explored in experimental settings, are erasing the boundaries between people and the things they use. Already, mobile devices routinely make decisions based on contextual clues such as the user’s location and orientation or the date and time of day. Devices that sense temperature, ambient conditions, acceleration and movement, and much more are increasingly common.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - alan alan Jan 27, 2010

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the museums you know best?

  • This one intrigued me because I wasn't sure what it was. After reading the description, I was reminded of the external devices that can be plugged into netbooks or other computers that enhance science instruction--thermometers, CO2 monitors, etc. Many of these devices are already in use in classrooms and labs, and to some extent, in student programs at museums. I can see this technology becoming more relevant in the form of mobile apps, which would allow easy integration into inquiry based learning situations with collections, exhibitions and lab projects. Geocaching using GPS technology is already common. - elizabeth.babcock elizabeth.babcock May 2, 2010
  • This is one museums have been fiddling with for years, but maybe the technology will get mature in a way that will make it more than a magic show at some point. I'm not sure. But if implemented well, with great content at the end of the rainbow, having a space "talk to you" about what's in it could be quite compelling (as opposed to punching buttons to make it talk). It could make a space (and the people who create it) more personal, more alive, more welcoming. For those who like audio tours, that might be a great add-on. For those who don't, it probably won't change anything.- john.weber john.weber May 4, 2010

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • your response here
  • another response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

  • your response here
  • another response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project sharing form.