Mobile Context-Aware Systems – Linking the Physical and Digital World
The rapid miniaturisation and decline in prices of computer, communication and sensor technology give rise to a number of interesting developments, such as multifunctional mobile devices, sensor platforms embedded into everyday things, and sensor nodes organised in a wireless network. Those systems can capture and process sensory data and communicate this information to other peers in their proximity or to an existing server infrastructure. The sensory data are fed into spatio-temporal models of the physical world, which build the basis for the promising class of context-aware applications. Based on these developments it can be anticipated that there will be billions of sensor systems in our physical environment near future. Consequently, we envision most of the future applications to be context-aware, sharing highly dynamic digital world models offered by a large number of content providers. Obviously, the realisation of this vision will cause a number of both technological and social challenges. Some of these challenges are subject to the research of Nexus, a Centre of Excellence established at University of Stuttgart in the year 2003. In this talk, we present the vision and objectives of Nexus. Moreover, we will discuss some aspects of scaleable context management.