The recent trend in electronics is to exploit more sophisticated computer chips and software to help devices more effectively exchange information and track users' movements, gestures, voices, and intentions. This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is being dominated by the term "context awareness," which describes technology that enables products to pick up clues to users' desires and respond without the need for commands. "We are at the inflection point where we are starting to see the beginnings of these possibilities," says Advanced Micro Devices' Mark Papermaster.
CES will feature an array of inventors and inventions highlighting the possibilities enabled when mobile devices exchange data with devices such as sensors in the home, on a user's body, or in a car. The context-awareness concept assumes that sensors switch on automatically and exchange data with other programs in the device, and is driven by devices that may contain as many as 18 specialized sensors. However, most existing devices only take advantage of their sensors when called upon by an app, while context-aware devices will automatically activate the appropriate sensor to perform specific functions.
Meanwhile, other firms are developing sensor hubs, chips that coordinate a device's various sensors, as well as algorithms to manage them.
From The Wall Street Journal
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