Jeff Stockett's Reviews > Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy

Age of Context by Robert Scoble
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it was amazing

The future is awesome.

Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love science fiction. There is a lot I like about it, but one thing I really enjoy is speculating about how technology will change our society, revolutionize our culture and alter our daily lives.

This book reads like science fiction, but it's not. I've enjoyed following Robert Scoble as he has blogged and vlogged about technology for a long time. This book is the culmination of all the research he has done through countless interviews with entrepreneurs building new technologies.

The premise of this book is that a new age is upon us, an age in which technology will be contextual, meaning it will understand the world around it and the context in which it is being used. The obvious example of this is Google Glass, which will not only know what you are searching for online, but it will know where you are and what you are looking at.

This book goes through a laundry list of technologies that currently exist. Many are either available for purchase or will be within the next few years. A few of my favorite examples were self driving cars, asthma inhalers that contain a GPS and can report on areas that are more likely to cause asthma attacks (and share that information so that people with asthma can avoid areas with low air quality), health devices that monitor everything from heart rate to blood sugar, and even a bra that prevents sexual assault by delivering an electric shock to an attacker, but not the individual wearing it.

This book also delves into some of the creepier sides of contextual technology. The more information our devices know about us, the more potential there is for information to be shared where we don't want. The recipient of that information could be a potential romantic partner (there is a funny/creepy true story about Google Now assuming a relationship that wasn't there), or perhaps it could be the United States government. Either way, we want to know what is being done with our data.

As the book says, every individual will decide whether to fear this new contextual age or embrace it. However, I liked what Isaac Asimov had to say, "I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them."

This book is fresh and exciting, but you need to read it today. In 5 years when all of these technologies are available in stores it will be old news. In 10 years this will be a history book.

In the end, as Arthur C. Clarke said, "The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible."

We are about to enter the world of the impossible. It's a great time to be alive. Welcome to the age of context.


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Reading Progress

September 19, 2013 – Started Reading
September 19, 2013 – Shelved
September 24, 2013 – Finished Reading

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