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10 Types of Context Awareness

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Context awareness is a class of software that uses current information about the real world. This can be used to tailor services to the moment to improve functionality and usability. The following are common types of context awareness.


Information about the person using the software such as their name, preferences and interests. This is privacy sensitive data that users may not want to share.


Information about activities that are currently in progress such as a sports event or business process.


The current time.


A user's preferred language or the language they are currently speaking.


The current geographical location of people, devices, infrastructure, equipment or vehicles.

User Intent

What a user is currently trying to achieve. Are they shopping for something or are they researching a school report? Important to contextual search.


The general attitude, meaning or emotion behind a situation. For example, whether a customer is happy or angry. Considered extremely personal data that can nonetheless be detected with methods such as affective computing.


The ability to detect things that are in close proximity to a device. For example, a retail shopping app that can detect the product id of a shirt on a rack as you pass it.


The ability to detect and predict moving things around a device. For example, a robot walking down a street that would like to avoid bumping into people.


Sensors are devices that measure the physical world in real time. All sensor data can be considered contextual information.
Overview: Context Awareness
A class of software that uses current information about the real world.
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