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Contextual Computing. Application in Personal and Professional Scenarios


This paper explains the application of contextual computing in personal and professional scenarios. It is clear that there are no technical barriers for the growth of contextual computing. But the chief hindrance is the attitude of people. The other minor barriers are environment problem, government regulations…etc. The people and the government should be ready to accept the changes and advancement in the technology, and then only there is a chance for the great development of the pervasive computing. This paper is developed in such a way that, first there is brief description of what is contextual computing followed by its application in professional as well as personal scenarios.

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Contextual computing: Now computing became more sophisticated as it developed from the desktop to the mobile phones. The word context refers to “that which surrounds, and gives meaning to, something else.” (Schmidt 2002, p.21).

Contextual computing (also called as pervasive or ubiquitous computing) refers to the use of computing possibilities everywhere. In other words, it is the improvement of user interface according to the context, user, data and programmes. Contextual computing makes the computing activity more flexible. In most of the cases mobile phones are used as the medium for contextual computing. Some other tools like Electronic tags, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Tags), Integrated Circuit Cards…etc also serve as the platform for contextual computing. (ADEBUS Week5 Lecture).

Application of contextual computing in a professional scenario: Here the application of contextual computing by the retailer Food Lion is described. Food Lion is a chain of supermarkets which is one among the largest supermarkets in United States running 1,300 supermarkets in different names. (About Food Lion History. 2009).

The Food Lion implemented contextual computing using m-commerce (mobile commerce). The Food Lion’s contextual computing practices are described below.

Mobile Check stand: The company uses mobile check stand which is mobile equipment and can be moved to the required places as it is fixed up on wheels. This device is used for processing payment. It is flexible enough to add checkout lines as and when required.

Personal Scanner: This is a device which is operated by the customer. When a product is selected by the customer, he scans the product, with the scanner provided to him by the company, which displays the price of the particular product and it is added to the total. Personal scanners are also used for sending message like new offers to the customers by the company.

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Employees handheld devices: It helps the employees in inventory counting, keeping the record of the inventory, order making, shelf-tag printing and also to remotely manage the store.

Cart-mounted table PC: This device helps consumer in finding the price and location of a product while pushing the cart.

Tablet PCs for employees: It is a wireless given to employees which will be having a connection with store system. Food Lion effectively makes use of this device.

Mobile manager: It is a device used as a tool for the communication of employees and the supervision of employees.

Wi-fi access: The Company used wi-fi connection inside the stores. Wi-fi makes it possible the access of networks within a limited area.

The implementation of the contextual computing helped the Food Lion to improve their efficiency and thereby achieve growth in business. (Chapter Nine: Mobile Computing and Commerce and Pervasive Computing).

Application of contextual computing in a personal scenario

The wide possibility of the contextual computing can also be used for personal purposes. The best example of the personalized use of contextual computing is online gaming. Online games are those games which are played using internet. If one player is located in one place and the other player/players is/are located in some other places, then also it is possible to play online games. Driving is another area where contextual computing can be applied. Microsoft together with Ford implemented a technology which enables the driver to drive the car remotely by connecting the car with mobile devices like I-pods, cell phones…etc. Contextual computing is implemented in banking also. Today most of the banks are providing mobile banking services.

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Mobile banking “is an additional service bolted on top of an existing solution – making access to services more immediate and reducing customer reliance on branch infrastructure or access to the Internet.” (Saks 2006).

Mobile banking makes the banking transaction easier and faster. In mobile banking, the transactions are conducted with the help of cell phones. Customers can perform functions like checking their account balance, transferring cash…etc. using mobile banking. Another area where contextual computing is applied is in bill payment. Now it is not required to go to the electricity or telephone office for paying bill. The bills can be paid online with the help of internet ATMs. There is no face-to-face interaction between the parties who pay the bill and the parties who accept the bill. For example, “if a restaurant patron wanted to pay quickly and leave the restaurant on time to get to an appointment, the bill could be paid directly from the table – without waiting for a server to bring the check. The patron would simply connect to the cash register with a wireless device, punch in the table number and bank personal identification number (PIN), and authorize payment.” (Mobile Payments: Definition. 2007).

The online ticketing and reservation system, that is common everywhere makes use of the contextual computing. Using online ticketing system is easy to book tickets of flight, train or bus without going to the particular place of sales. People can book tickets from the place of their convenience using internet. It saves time of the customer, thereby ensuring customer satisfaction.


About Food Lion History. (2009). [online]. Food Lion. Web. ADEBUS Week5 Lecture [1].pdf (provided by the student).

Chapter 9-part 1.pdf, Chapter Nine: Mobile Computing and Commerce and Pervasive Computing, FOOD LION’S M-COMMERCE INNOVATIONS. (provided by the student).

Mobile Payments: Definition. (2007). [online]. Web.

SAKS, Craig. (2006). Mobile Banking vs. a Mobile Bank. [online]. Perspective. Web.

SCHMIDT, Albrecht. (2002). Ubiquitous Computing-Computing in Context: The Notion of Context. [online]. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 15). Contextual Computing. Application in Personal and Professional Scenarios. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2021, November 15). Contextual Computing. Application in Personal and Professional Scenarios.

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