In 2006, co-authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel wrote Naked Conversations, a book that persuaded business to embrace the emerging technological force that we now call Social Media. Six years later they have discovered that social media is but one of five converging forces that are now changing almost all aspects of work and life.
You know these forces already: mobile, data, sensors and location-based technologies are converging with social media to deliver us into the new Age of Context. They are with us wherever we go: in the devices we carry and will soon wear on the streets, in our cars, and increasingly in our homes and public buildings. They are making it easier to find TV programs we watch and to detect cancer. They promise to make marketing messages more useful and appreciated by their target audiences.
Contextual technology is showing up in all kinds of objects and connecting them to many other objects. The book will tell you about toothbrushes that report you to the dentist when you have a cavity, and cars that can establish or destroy alibis for criminals or straying spouses; homes with mirrors that are large touchscreen computers and will some day show you what you look like in the clothes you are holding on a hanger.
In this new Age of Context, our devices will start to know us better than the people who are closest to us. We will communicate with them by voice and gestures and they will give us voice answers in any language we speak. They will know what we want before we do because they are tracking our activity patterns, And they are always looking out to see what environmental condition could put us off schedule.
Scoble and Israel have spent more than a year researching this book. They report what they have learned from speaking with over a hundred pioneers of the new technology and by examining hundreds of new products.
What does it all mean? Where is it taking us?
Well, there’s good news and bad. First, life will be better and longer. Technology will make us healthier and better informed. We will have more of the entertainment we like and meet more interesting people online. The planet will be cleaner and we will be more secure from burglars, thugs and terrorists, but we will be paying a steep and dangerous price for all that in terms of our personal privacy.
The authors are both passionate champions of the new technology and its benefits. And they warn that big data will indeed be watching you in the coming years. They will tell you why they feel the benefits far exceed the costs.
About the Authors
Shel Israel and Robert Scoble have been friends for several years. They have appeared in the media and on conference stages many times. Both have a passion for how technology will change the world.
Robert Scoble is among the world’s best-known tech journalists. In his day job as Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for the latest developments on technology’s bleeding edge. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports for Rackspace TV and in social media. He can be found at scobleizer.com. You can email him at Scobleizer@gmail.com, and on social networks as Robert Scoble.
What others are saying about Age of Context:
"If you think Minority Report was futuristic, wait until you see what's coming. Just
as they predicted much of social media, Scoble and Israel know the power of the
next wave: context. You have to be ahead of the wave to maximally benefit from it
(and mitigate the inherent privacy issues). This book puts you ahead of the wave."
- Tim Ferriss, angel investor (Evernote, Twitter & Uber) & author of The 4-
"There is no team more qualified in the universe than Robert Scoble and Shel Israel
to explain how "context" might change everything we know about technology and
-Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple and special advisor to Motorola.
"We are past 'information at your fingertips'. In the coming age of context, you won't
even use your fingers. Software will know what you need, when you need it.
Computing is no longer a utility; it's becoming as valuable as a human assistant that
anticipates your needs and is ready to help. Shel and Robert do a great job
describing the early advances in this new world."
-Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President, Google
“In an always on society, context is king…Israel and Scoble contextualize the vast
array of technology's most disruptive trends to give us the big picture and our role
- Brian Solis, author of What's the Future of Business (WTF)