Notes on “Conceptual Framework and a Toolkit for Supporting the Rapid Prototyping of Context-Aware Applications (Sections 1 & 2)”

September 27, 2008

This paper presents a framework for thinking about context-aware applications. The authors point out some flaws in previously presented conceptual frameworks and reiterate a definition of context they had already presented. They then place some previously published applications of context into the framework.

The key insight of the paper is the definition of context:

Any information that can be used to characterize the situation of entities (i.e. whether a person, place or object) that are considered relevant to the interaction between a user and an application, including the user and the application themselves. Context is typically the location, identity, and state of people, groups and computational and physical objects. 

This definition is broad enough to encompass all intuitive notions of context yet narrow enough to help us determine whether or not something ought to be considered a context-aware application.

This (part of the) paper is limited in that it does not introduce new work and it isn’t clear that a definition like the one presented adds any value to the world of ubiquitous computing. The overview of the paper suggests that the authors also provide tools to support rapid prototyping of context-aware applications in other sections. These might be more useful.

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