Ski goggles that adjust based on snow conditions? Contextually relevant ads delivered to you based on where you are standing? Doctors who track your moods? While this sounds like a scene from Minority Report, this is the future according to futurists Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.  

The Age of Context,  as they call it, is a result of the convergence of 5 major technology trends: mobile, social, local, wearable tech and Big Data. When combined, these forces will bring us more personalized, predictive and assistive products, for example:

  • Wearable computers like Google Glass delivering contextual ads where you walk or stand
  • Highly personalized products such as cars that know who is sitting in the passenger seat and adjust accordingly
  • Personal assistant technologies that suggest content and actions based on behavior patterns
  • Embedded sensors in plants, water, toys, health devices sending information and status
  • Software that is contextual and knows if you are running, biking, walking, sitting

This convergence, according to Scoble and Israel,  will result in 'pinpoint accurate' marketing and software that knows your preferences better than your closest friend.

Yet, the convergence of these trends also poses some scary threats to our notions of personal privacy. Consider:

  • Face detection that reads the expression on your face -- even your feelings and sentiment -- to be used by your Doctor or employer
  • Technologies that track your age and gender when you walk into a store
  • Eye sensors in Google Glass track not only what you are looking at, but your intent and emotions

How will contextual technologies change how we design products, engage with customers and manage information? Catch this recent episode of Salesforce Live Conversations featuring Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, and join them at Dreamforce 2013 to continue the conversation.

Join Robert Scoble, Shel Israel and other thought leaders at Dreamforce 2013. Register below.

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