This chapter presents how the use of context can support user interaction in mobile applications. It argues that context in mobile applications can be used not only for locating users and providing them with suitable information, but also for supporting the system’s selection of appropriate interaction techniques and providing users with a tool necessary for composing and creating their own mobile applications. Thus, the target of this chapter is to demonstrate that the use of context in mobile applications is a necessity. It will focus on the current trend of modeling devices, services and context in a formal way, like ontologies, and will present an ontology-based context model.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Context: Any information that can be used to characterize the situation of entities (i.e., whether a person, place or object) that are considered relevant to the interaction between a user and an application, including the user and the application themselves.
Mobile Computing: The ability to use technology in remote or mobile (non static) environments. This technology is based on the use of battery powered, portable, and wireless computing and communication devices, like smart mobile phones, wearable computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
Context-Aware Application: An application based on an infrastructure that captures context and on a set of rules that govern how the application should respond to context changes.
Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp): Technology that is seamlessly integrated into the environment and aids human in their everyday activities. The embedding computation into the environment and everyday objects will enable people to interact with information-processing devices more naturally and casually than they currently do, and in whatever locations or circumstances they find themselves.
Ontology: A formal, explicit specification of a shared conceptualisation. A tool that can conceptualise a world view by capturing general knowledge and providing basic notions and concepts for basic terms and their interrelations.