• The spread of diverse sensing capabilities to every-day mobile devices. Today's smartphones have GPS, cameras, microphones, acceleration sensors, gyroscopes, magnetometers, and light sensors. In addition, BlueTooth and Wifi scans can be used to infer the presence of people and infrastructure. Many manufacturers are also considering the inclusion of environmental sensors such as temperature or air pressure.
• Pervasiveness of mobile Internet connectivity. Most smartphone users today have constant Internet connectivity, so uploading data is possible almost everywhere and at any time (although traffic volume restrictions might apply).
• Confluence of mobile computing and social networking that increasingly includes automatically derived context information. Examples include services, such as FourSquare, that make a user's location visible online and fitness-monitoring applications that support online data uploads for community-based competition.
Paul Lukowicz is a professor of computer science in at the University of Passau, Germany. His research interests include context aware systems, large scale sensing and reasoning, collaborative and self-organized pervasive systems, wearable computing and pervasive healthcare. Lukowicz has a PhD in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tanzeem Choudhury is an associate professor of information science at Cornell University. She directs the People-Aware Computing group, which develops systems that can reason about human activities, interactions, and social networks in everyday environments. Choudhury has a PhD from the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Contact her at email@example.com.
Hans Gellersen is a professor of interactive systems in the Computing Department at Lancaster University. His research interests include interactive systems and ubiquitous computing, in particular systems context sensing, location systems and user interface technologies. Gellersen has a PhD from the University of Karlsruhe. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.