Context Cloud is a web platform for the collaborative development of context-aware services.
The personalisation of information and services is essential for an optimal user experience. This customisation becomes even more important in mobile scenarios, where users have to interact with small devices that usually require very specific information at a given time. Therefore it is crucial for services to be able to acquire data about the user’s context, process them in order to identify the user’s situation and finally adapt the functionality of the system to that situation.
However, this personalisation process is complex because many different tasks have to be taken into account. First, information from different heterogeneous and distributed sources has to be acquired. Following, this information has to be transformed into a data model to make it machine-processable and it has to be managed in order to obtain the individual’s situation and adapt the service to that situation. Consequently, diverse technologies are needed and a lot of technological challenges have to be faced by programmers in each development.
The aim of the Context Cloud middleware solution is to make the development of context-aware systems easier, even for people that do not have technical skills. The platform provides a web front-end where all the features involved in the development of context-aware services can be easily configured without writing a line of code. For instance, the context data model, the context information gathering process and the rules to identify users’ situations can be configured using the web interface. Enabling domain experts to become involved in the development process.
Context Cloud can be considered as a black box that receives inputs from the identified context sources and produces outputs triggered by the defined context rules. These rules are used to identify situations according to the obtained context data and the defined data model.