Companies everywhere are evolving technologically and are now talking about mobiles and mobility solutions, but they are missing out on “What it is that makes a mobile solution different”. The one thing that makes mobiles stand apart is that it provides essential data sources and functionalities required for creating contextual services. You all might be aware that for creating Contextual services, “Contextual Data” is required which can be derived by co-relating data from internal sources, third party accessible data sources such as reviews, mapping data and weather data, with sensor data from mobile and IoT gadgets such as location, vibration and motion.
But the catch here is that our PC based processes or solutions, back in those days, were not designed with these insights or may be if there was the insight the technology was not that advanced to help organizations in collecting and acting on data collected from such diverse set of resources.
Following technological advancement, increasing numbers of companies are converting their existing PC apps into mobile apps. The mobile app developer team, solely focuses on location enabled communications and services – the easiest way to fetch contextual information. A lot of companies have started using the location factor to customize the type and timing of communication they send, based on the location of their customer i.e., user is at the office, mall, customer’s site, or at home. Location is one of the primary and most important types of contextual data that any organization should be utilizing while building the mobile services.
Organizations are advised to look at various other options as well for Context:
TIME of day understanding plays a crucial role in creating that finest experience. Every individual wishes for different services or communications purely based on the time of the day. Companies should combine time data with other contextual data such as an individual’s previous behavior, which would help them to decide on that perfect kind of communication and the perfect time when to deliver it to any individual. Other aspect of time bound contextual services is all about providing the right kind of information or service at that perfect moment. I would term it to be that moment of truth, the one that provides a person with right information at the right moment on their device of choice and that too while on a move. Moment of truth is the perfection in reaching out to a change in the situation, read context here. Truckers can use real time traffic data in applications to reduce the time they would save by avoiding traffic jams, while families on a vacation can utilize the weather updates to avoid hurdles during their journey.
Action based on current process clearly means that by understanding any individual’s current process, the company can determine the actual flow of a transaction. If those most likely scenarios, defined accurately, where a consumer is about to make a purchase; app designers can very well design a mobile app that appropriately highlights what is the information what would prove to be really valuable for the user/individual – in order to accomplish that purchase. i.e., a user trying to purchase a mobile online, would be more than happy to find the comparative pricing and memory statistics of the handset that he is looking for, even without asking for it. This would help the user to make a decision faster – positively.
Type – State and Presence of Devices are of uttermost importance as mobile devices or you can say the smartphones have compelled companies how they design and develop their websites and mobile apps. It is so because both, the website and the mobile app mandatorily should adapt to user’s device and quality of the network. The software should also be adaptive in displaying the information according to the screen size irrespective of the available navigation method of touch – voice or gesture. Responding appropriately to a momentary connectivity lapse also needs to be looked into. This is then followed with a real time situation where people tend to move around with more than one connected device, but the device presence will highlight which connected device is utilized at that moment by the user. The presence will span across devices to include nontraditional devices including cars – wearables – conference rooms and video conferencing equipments.
Environmental Conditions provided by embedded sensors to context-aware applications and services is a common site nowadays. The concept here should be of designing applications that collect and use several environmental context including air quality, temperature, humidity, weather forecast and so on so forth. I.E., transport companies can collect contextual data through sensors in their trucks while delivering fresh products in time by monitoring the temperature and humidity across the delivery process. Consumers along with various other industries such as healthcare, utilities and manufacturing can and should use connected sensors to improvise their lives.
Motion is only for fitness domain, is a wrong notion. It is equally relevant for enterprise mobility as well. Motion can be used to define how and experience should be carried forward. Say an individual is driving; the conferencing system should instantly and automatically switch to hands free mode and allow the user to launch a conference all or navigate an app with help of voice command/prompt. A lot of devices now come with accelerometers and magnetometers, which provide information for orientation and direction of course. Companies can smartly use the data from such monitoring devices to keep a tab on corporate asset health, while also can improve service uptime. I.E., companies can certainly use motion sensors in machines and equipments to monitor health of the equipment to avoid unplanned downtime. Some of those wireless connections are also useful in transmitting sensor data and alerts to stakeholders, for scheduling maintenance.
These were some of the examples how we can get to the so very important data available from mobile and IoT devices for designing and enhancing our Contextual services. Several other resources of publicly available data including traffic conditions and reviews can be used to improvise business processes. However; all these wealth is of no avail unless and until companies start designing next generation mobile apps with a foresight.