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on 24 November 2013
This book just fails to deliver. If you know anything about this area, you'll get nothing from this book. If you know nothing but are interested, you'll get an unrealistic view of where tech is going. The general direction and points that are made are generally where the tech world is going. However there are 2 big problems with this book. First, it's like reading a massive advert for a couple of products/services/companies (Google Glass being one). Second, the way technology is discussed is so out of touch with what it takes to actually invent and deliver such technology you don't get a realistic view of where the tech world is heading. As a professional working in this area I'm greatly disappointed by this by journalists who I considered to be knowledgeable. If you're interested in this area, you're far better off spending your time reading articles on the net than bothering with this book.
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on 8 May 2014
There are deeper books on this subject out there but that doesn't mean that, even at it's current price (2GBP), you should dismiss it. Scoble and Isreal delve into the expectations, benefits and downsides of contextual data collection and analysis, predominately via mobile platforms.

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.
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on 5 November 2013
I enjoyed the book as a rapid survey of the contextual technology landscape, and particularly welcomed the examples - although the approach make the book seem more like an extended post or magazine article. Where it fell down is in assessing the problems - privacy, data ownership, security etc etc. The NSA revelations, which were just breaking when the book was written, and which continue to unfold may come to make this shortcoming weigh much more heavily than it might otherwise. Worth reading, though....
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on 27 October 2016
Thought provoking. Solid research. Good use of interviews and well presented reference links allow you to go your own way, if you want.

1. A printed book it is. dating fast (publ. 2014). Of course. Combining it with some of WIRED magazine's examples gets you up to date.
2. Not a single illustration in the age of the infographic (pun intended) raised a bushy eyebrow.

All in an interesting read.

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on 25 August 2014
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!
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on 9 May 2014
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.
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on 17 February 2017
Provides a useful guide to technophobes about how emerging technologies have the ability to make lives easier, at home and at work.
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on 1 July 2014
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, particularly in terms of privacy. A must- read book not only for "geeks" but for everyone!
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on 17 December 2013
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 are heading.
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on 14 November 2013
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 headed
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