Friday, September 16, 2005

A cool conference my employer is putting on next month


Over the last decade, computing has been rapidly diffusing from our desktops into the wider world around us. It has become embedded in our homes, roads, offices, hospitals, factories, and even clothing. Wireless networks are now ubiquitous, keeping us and our smart devices connected no matter where we roam. Meanwhile, new sensing devices are beginning to act as the eyes and ears of these same networks. Taken together, computing, communication, and sensing technologies are now bringing a new level of sentience to our everyday environments—a new kind of context awareness.

This transformation of our environment is proceeding along two very different paths—via top-down design, on one hand, and via bottom–up emergent processes, on the other. Both will create environments that are more proactive in responding to our needs as humans; they will also change the way we function in the world and indeed what we think is humanly possible. Beyond these human-centered trends, the new technologies will mobilize objects, places, and processes into networks of activity and intelligence that have the potential to reshape business practices as well as global economics.

At our Technology Horizons Fall Exchange, we will examine these two paths and their implications for daily lives—and for the creation of value in the form of services, products, and social benefit.

  • Tour a map of the emerging technologies of context awareness, exploring the two paths of top–down design and bottom–up emergence
  • Hear from pioneers who are innovating in the realm of context-awareness, from enabling technologies to social frameworks and business applications
  • Uncover the special role that pervasive games are playing in the transition to a context-aware future
  • Meet some unexpected citizens of this future who have already begun to redefine the limits of the human body and mind as they participate in this emerging environment
  • Hear from innovators and your peers in other companies about their strategies for capitalizing on context-aware technologies and applications

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