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November 16, 2009

2012 to witness $12 billion context-aware computing market, says Gartner

Vendors vying to be context providers to tap the growing market

By CBR Staff Writer

As organisations begin to use context information to increase their growth and context providers looking to consolidate and monetise knowledge of their clients, enterprises can leverage context-aware computing to better target prospects, increase customer intimacy, and enhance associate productivity and collaboration, according to according to IT research and advisory firm Gartner.

The company expects that the context information will be a $12 billion market with at least two global context providers with more than 100m subscribers each by 2012.

Gartner defines context-aware computing as the concept of leveraging information about the end user to improve the quality of the interaction and these services will use details such as social attributes, location, presence and other environmental information.

According to Gartner, many types of vendors are vying to be context providers to tap the growing market. Web vendors are well positioned to become context providers, as they have large population of users about whom they collect a significant amount of context information, while handset manufacturers have the opportunity to preinstall context data collection and presentation tools on their products.

Social networking vendors such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Mixit and Loopt have rich information about their users, but have weaker access to real-time contextual data, no location-based services of their own and no minimal application delivery mechanisms beyond the browser. Mobile network operators are weak in many key areas of context, but have a substantial number of customers and significant information about them, according to the research firm.

Anne Lapkin, research vice president at Gartner, said: “Although the rudiments of context-aware computing have been around for some time now, it is a disruptive technology that has the potential to be a real game changer in terms of competitive advantage.

“Initial implementations of context-enriched services are already in play, and early adopters will find it easier to implement more-sophisticated services in the future.”

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