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Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Science fiction author William Gibson once wrote that `the future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed'. What Scoble and Israel have done for this book is travel to the places where the future has arrived, and returned with a picture to show the rest of us how our lives will increasingly be shaped by ever present, and increasingly intelligent every day technology.
It is a place where technology has the power to make our lives better, with a rich contextual connection to the people and the world around us. However, as they point out, this future may have a price in the form of diminished privacy, and that as a society we are yet to form the rules, laws and behavioural norms that balance these benefits and costs.
Some of those rules and laws are already being debated and prepared, so above all this is a very timely book, which adds to the debate about getting the balance right. Scoble and Israel rightly highlight the issues of transparency, permission and control as central to this debate. They don't claim to have any answers, but this book is nevertheless a valuable contribution to the discussions about how we can make sure that the future of technology is one that benefits us all.
The context of The Age Of Context is that five emerging forces - mobile, social media, data, sensors and location - and about to create sociological change that this book documents. This decade will be defined by the technology, economics and social need and willing to use these five forces to change the world.
The other context for this book is that co-author Robert Scoble is one of the lucky few to be trailing Google Glass - expected to be one of the first to market wearable tech gadgets that change out relationship with technology. Glass is written about plenty here and much of the book's genesis comes from and is, ahem, seen thru the lens of Glass.
The move from mouse and keyboard to touchscreens in our pocket; from physical music, films and documents on drives to files in the cloud... these are small steps compared to what the age of context brings.
So what does the future look like? Doctors actually talking to patients while your notes and a differential diagnosis pops up on screen. Shops that know when I'm coming, know how important a customer I am, and gives me relevant offers. Self-driving cars (yep, we're all a little freaked out about this one, but think about the advantages for the blind and disabled, say the authors). More efficient policing (and traffic lights!) based on sensors and big data.Read more ›
The first half of the book addresses future concepts, innovation and practical applications of the world viewed and harvested by large, and small, companies -- to best serve our needs, wants and whims. It's going to be a great world...maybe! There's plenty of examples given; although none which will surprise most savvy readers. And it's all written in a straight-forward, appeal to all language. I didn't find this half of the book that surprising, nor did I find it particularly deep in information. It served a purpose, but I do have an interest in this area, generally speaking, so that might account for my impression of it.
The back end of the book; especially the health, and data privacy chapters were quite a bit more interesting. The writers highlight the flip-side of the 'wonderfully contextual' world with the stark realisation that insurance companies might just not want you to be in tip-top health all the time. And who owns the data anyway? It's highlighted as a worry and rightly so. This is serious when it comes down to it all.
All-in-all a coffee table book that doesn't particularly tax the reader, but there are some thinking points to be had. I'm not sure I'd have paid full price for it, given that you only have to watch Scoble on any podcast or interview to hear pretty much the full contents of the book given by him.
If you're really interested in the future (once you've finished AoC) that they are talking about, a great (fictional) read is Sycamore (Near-Future Dystopia) [Kindle Edition] Craig A. Falconer. The amount of overlap between the two books is very, very apparent. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent book for those coming into the digital age and wondering where do I make my self relevant. Read it cover to cover!Published 22 months ago by AJ
Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy gives a clear underatdsning of what MAY be coming and some ideas on whats already here!Published on 25 Aug. 2014 by terryglobal
I loved this book because it explains in very common language and with great study cases the present of digital technology, its advantages and also the issues involved,... Read morePublished on 1 July 2014 by manu
I'm doing my dissertation on wearable technology so this was a great book to read to get their point of view on itPublished on 29 May 2014 by Ms. R. O. Bowe
An excellent read, a good overview by Robert Scoble of all of the tech companies that he has been fortunate enough to spend his time visiting, together with his views of them.Published on 9 May 2014 by IanGSY
I regularly follow tech news etc so the book probably was targeted at myself - would recommend to those who don't classify themselves as a geek - it draws a nice image of where we... Read morePublished on 17 Dec. 2013 by Joshua Newnham
This is one of those books that helps define an era. With it's feet firmly planted in the here and now, it charts the seismic changes that we're undergoing as a global society,... Read morePublished on 28 Nov. 2013 by StJohn Deakins
I have one major problem with the services and technology described by Scoble. I want them today, not in two or three years time, provided they come out of beta or get funded by... Read morePublished on 24 Nov. 2013 by Mark D
Loved this. In turns inspiring and terrifying, two insiders' views on Tomorrow's world. Highly recommended for anyone who has even a passing interest in technology and where it is... Read morePublished on 14 Nov. 2013 by Damien Lane