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The Age of Context is a great introduction to the next decade - introducing many of the key trends in consumer electronics and business that will shape the next decade and beyond. Trends that there are signs of all around us but even for a seasoned technologist and early adopter such as myself there are many specific technologies, companies and products mentioned in The Age of Context that are likely new to most readers. Some, like startups everywhere will remain mostly unknown but likely many will become household names in the decade to come.
I read a review copy of the book, given to me by my friends Robert and Shel - I've known them individually and together since before they started writing their last book together over 7 years ago, so sure, I went into reading this book more than a bit biased to like it - so full disclosure behind me here are more of my thoughts and review.
This is a very important book - the first book I've seen that really addresses the looming future of context and one that expands that concept farther than I had assumed they would. While I appreciate companies such as Uber I had not previously focused on them as contextual companies of the future - but as they note in the book Uber is positioning themselves for the future of driverless car while also delivering on a highly contextual service today.
I am writing this review in a cafe with my 2 month old son at my side. As I read the book I was reading it in the context of looking forward to my son's future (further full disclosure - I'm writing a full book on that very subject). He will grow up in a world where even the smartphone may seem clunky and slow, a world where more than perhaps even imagined by Robert and Shel will be smart and connected and able to respond to his contextual needs. As well he will face a world with even more complex privacy and security concerns than we have today - while likely also growing up in a world where some of our concerns may seem quaint and old-fashioned. My personal prediction is that in the decades to come no one will really care much about childhood photos posted online or even about teenage indiscretions - and that it will be those people who do not have a deep online history who will be at a disadvantage - both in using their contextual devices and in advancing in the world.
The book is a fantastic overview of more than 12 areas of the contextual future - it is full of dozens (hundreds?) of links and references. Likely it is book that you may want to get the digital version of for reference while reading the physical print edition (which itself is likely going to seem old fashioned to my son's generation).
I look forward to joining Robert and Shel in celebrating the anniversary of Age of Context in the years to come and I highly recommend that everyone read the book to think about how they personally and professionally will adjust to the Age of Context that is upon us.
The book was a fast read with enough information to start a unique health program. Even though my doctor and friends are skeptical, I have started the suggested progression of the one-minute cure to evaluate the results for myself. It's probably too good to be true!