Global Constant
Steve Nay's ramblings

Ideas for context automation at BYU

  • The book you placed on hold last week at the BYU Library is now in for you to pick up. You receive a notification on your phone just as you enter the atrium. Want to check it out right now?
  • Your favorite stand-up comedy group is doing a show right now next to the Cougareat. Your phone alerts you to such as you walk through the quad just outside the Wilk. Care to take a look?
  • Your Physics 121 homework is in your backpack, all finished. Now that you’re in the MARB, your phone reminds you to run upstairs and turn it in before you forget.
  • You’re still on the other side of campus and class starts in 10 minutes. Since you’re on your work computer, perhaps you’re deep in thought on a project. Don’t forget to leave in time!
  • You’ve been searching Google, Wikipedia, and the Library’s website for 10 minutes with keywords all relating to Rembrandt and van Gogh. You don’t seem to have found anything satisfactory yet. There’s an art history subject librarian online right now. (She even has a specialty in Dutch painters.) Maybe she can help you break this mental block–care to chat?

Location-aware context automation is an extremely powerful and relevant concept. The possibilities are endless.

How do we make this a reality on a college campus?

BYU could use information I supply about my intent to give me relevant, useful information (call it advertising if you must): books I want to read, my favorite groups, academic interests, homework reminders, etc.

Such location-aware context automation is currently a hot topic at Kynetx, industry leader in pioneering the purpose-based, context-aware web of the future.

Kynetx provides the platform to enable the kind of context-aware applications I mentioned earlier.

What if BYU’s network routers were Kynetx endpoints? Then my smartphone (also acting as a Kynetx endpoint, probably through an app) could detect when I’m in range of one of these wireless access points. It can also trivially determine which building or perhaps even which classroom I’m in. That takes care of the location part of the context puzzle.

What if my laptop were a Kynetx endpoint that knew what building I was in and what I was working on–where I’m browsing the web, whether I’m online on my chat client, etc.?

Other data can be used to determine the intent part of my context–books of my Amazon.com wish list, books I’ve checked out or reserved at the library (both currently and in the past), classes in which I’m enrolled, clubs of which I’m a member, homework assignments that are due soon. Insert your favorite piece of data here. You get the idea.

Given that information, BYU could provide me contextually relevant information to make me more productive at my current location or the current time of day. That context automation could stretch across my web browser, my computer, or my smartphone.

That opens the doors for some really powerful applications that aren’t currently possible with the web as we know it.

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